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Kelowna massage therapist found guilty of professional misconduct

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A Kelowna massage therapist has been found guilty of professional misconduct after touching the breasts and bottoms of three women for "non-therapeutic purposes."

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C.’s discipline committee came to the conclusion that Robert Morgan had been sexually inappropriate in several cases where evidence from three women as well as expert testimony was heard.

The panel found that on Sept 18, 2015, Morgan massaged one woman’s breasts for a non-therapeutic purpose, failed to provide appropriate draping and intentionally exposed her breasts.

In that case, the woman told the panel that Morgan spent too long massaging her breast for what was supposed to be the treatment of a neck and back injury.

"Immediately after she changed, complained to the receptionist that she had an 'uncomfortable massage' from (Morgan), that she had a “really bad experience”, and she requested to speak to a manager about it," reads the decision.

Then, on April 20, 2017, in the course of providing massage therapy services to a second woman, Morgan had the woman more exposed than need-be for a massage, going so far as to say “it is a full body massage so clothes will get in the way” in advance of their session.

Once he had her on the table she testified that he massaged or otherwise touched her buttocks, breasts and nipples for non-therapeutic purposes.

"(He) undraped me from the waist up so that my full breasts were exposed, and he was kind of massaging my stomach area in a kind of like a U motion, kind of casually slipping his fingers down the front of my underwear about an inch" she told the panel. Also, he used the tips of his three middle fingers to go below her underwear. She said that it lasted five to seven minutes.  

The woman told the panel he also didn’t cover her after this so-called treatment was underway, leaving parts of her body naked and exposed.

With a third woman on Feb. 3, 2017, Morgan said incorrectly that it was necessary for her to expose her breast to provide treatment then he went about touching them for non-therapeutic purposes.

As was previously the case, he also didn’t cover the woman’s body, as per the usual practice with a registered massage therapist.

For all of these episodes, Morgan was found guilty of professional misconduct.

In all three cases, the panel determined that by engaging in this conduct, Morgan breached section 75 of the college’s bylaws and breached a standard imposed under the Health Professions Act by failing to comply with a section of the Code of Ethical Conduct and a section of the Standards of Practice in effect.

The panel has set a schedule for written submissions from the College and Morgan with respect to penalty and costs.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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