FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – A Fountain Hills man is facing felony charges of sexual assault, fraud, and practicing medicine without a license – more than 40 counts total – after five women who went to him for help told police he sexually assaulted them. Police arrested Gary Wayne Nash, 62, at his Fountain Hills business, Fountains of Youth Renewal Center, on Tuesday.
According to court documents, the five alleged victims filed reports with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office between Feb. 18 and 28, but some of the allegations go back to 2013. All of the women told investigators they had gone to Nash for “colonics, massage therapy, homeopathic and holistic treatment.” Detectives learned that not only was Nash unlicensed, but he had never applied for the credentials or licenses required by Arizona law. “Gary Wayne Nash used deception under the guise of a licensed and trained practitioner in holistic, homeopathic, and massage therapy for monetary and referral gains for his and personal sexual gratification,” reads the probable cause for arrest statement.
"First of all, it’s one of the more disgusting abuses, and victimizations that we see in law enforcement,” said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone. “We are still trying to identify his past. We do know that it appears that he may have visited other states or been from another state."
According to court documents, the women’s stories were similar, each one saying that Nash touched her inappropriately during what he called treatment. The women described what they said Nash did to them to investigators, and the actions they related were virtually the same. Each woman said Nash offered various forms of justification, saying he was doing what was necessary to treat inflammation or break up internal scar tissue.
One woman said Nash told her that theirs was “a sacred relationship, what we do here is not inappropriate,” while kissing her forehead after the session. Another woman said Nash told her what he was doing was a “new treatment method.” He also told her his “was not a bedroom touch rather a therapeutic touch,” according to court documents. She told investigators that when she questioned him about his methods, he “deflected … saying his practices are unconventional and if he advertised, someone would misunderstand and shut him down.”
One woman told detectives Nash “required payment by cash or check …and insisted the check(s) be made out directly to him and not his business.” The woman said she wrote him a check for $25,000 and then paid another $35,000 via Venmo “for essential oils.” Other women said he requested referrals in exchange for free treatments. Some of the women said they went to Nash on multiple occasions before reporting him.
Detectives served a search warrant at Fountains of Youth Renewal Center on Tuesday, March 2, and arrested Nash without incident. Detectives said he immediately invoked his Miranda rights. Nash’s court documents do not list any prior arrests. A judge set a secured appearance bond of $50,000. If he posts, he will be subject to supervision by Pretrial Services and electronic monitoring.