Penticton registered massage therapist wants chaperone restriction lifted - InfoNews

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Penticton registered massage therapist wants chaperone restriction lifted

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June 14, 2019 - 2:10 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton registered massage therapist who was ordered to be accompanied by a chaperone while treating female patients, has taken his case to court.

The College of Massage Therapists of British Columbia imposed the restriction on Leonard Krekic April 5, after looking into a complaint from a female patient who alleged that over the course of treatment for lower back pain, Krekic engaged in non-therapeutic touching.

She claimed that Krekic massaged her inner thigh, close to her labia. She also said Krekic’s groin area was near her hand while he massaged her, and her breasts had been exposed when the sheet draped over her fell back as she signed some paperwork.

Following the complaint, the college’s inquiry committee was satisfied that “there is a prima facie case of sexual misconduct as well as a real risk to the public which requires that the public be protected by an interim order during the investigation” and imposed the chaperone restriction.

Krekic, 47, denied all allegations against him, and criminal charges have yet to be filed. 

Now, in a civil suit against the college, he wants the restrictions lifted, noting that they are too onerous for a complaint that is yet unproven.

“The mere fact that an allegation has been made cannot on its own, in the absence of any other factors, be the foundation for a finding that there is a real risk of harm to the public,” reads the suit.

In the court filing, Krekic said he’s been an RMT since 1995 and has never previously been charged with a crime or been the subject of a disciplinary investigation. Highlighting the details of the complaint against him, he said it is unproven and that it’s never been clearly outlined how he may be a risk to the public, given that he works in a busy environment.

He said that because 95 per cent of his clients are women, the imposition of a chaperone will significantly affect his ability to continue to earn a living.

“He expects the vast majority of his patients to seek treatment from other RMTs rather than permit him to provide treatment with a chaperone in the room,” reads the report.

“The imposition of a chaperone pending the conclusion of its investigation into this matter will impact his ability to earn. He expects his income to be reduced adversely should that occur. The petitioner will be unable to meet his expenses if his ability to treat female patients is significantly curtailed.”

He also claims that the harm of this decision will have a detrimental effect on his income and reputation without any of the allegation being tested.

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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