LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — A Loveland unlicensed acupuncture practitioner claiming to be a retired doctor has been arrested on charges of sexual assault and unauthorized practice, among other charges.
The case started earlier this year when a woman, on an undisclosed date, reached out to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office to report that she had been assaulted while receiving acupuncture treatment from Rodney Pereira, 68, at his home office, the sheriff's office said. The incident happened in late 2022, the woman said, and involved him touching her inappropriately.
Pereira offered acupuncture and holistic medicine services at his home, and claimed to be a retired medical doctor. However, investigators learned that he had never obtained certification as a doctor. In addition, his acupuncture license had expired in 2021, the sheriff's office said.
After additional interviews, investigators also learned that Pereira allegedly performed breast examinations despite no medical training, the sheriff's office said.
Following a lengthy investigation, a warrant was issued for Pereira’s arrest and he was booked into Larimer County Jail on Aug. 21. He was issued a $25,000 cash surety bond.
He faces charges of:
- Sexual assault – Fake medical exam
- Sexual contact – Fake medical exam
- Acupuncturist – Sexual intrusion
- Acupuncturist – Sexual contact
- Unauthorized practice – Massage therapy
- Unauthorized practice – Acupuncture
Anybody with information on Pereira and unreported sexual assaults involving him is asked to contact Investigator Ryan Gebhardt at 970-498-5586. To stay anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.
Due to the suspect’s access to individuals through his work, investigators have concern about the potential for other victims, the sheriff's office said. Because of this, Denver7 is using Pereira's mugshot (below) in case other victims recognize him in connection with another crime.
Larimer County Capt. Bobby Moll, who leads the investigations division of the sheriff's office, said legitimate acupuncture services or massage therapy will never involve sexual contact with clients.
"This kind of behavior violates legal and ethical requirements for practitioners," he said. "If this ever happens to you, please report it so law enforcement can stop further harm from happening.”