Forced by the profession’s regulatory body to have a chaperone in the room while he works on female patients, a Penticton massage therapist has now fired back in B.C. Supreme Court.
Len Krekic was ordered April 5 to use a chaperone while the College of Massage Therapists of B.C. investigates a complaint of sexual misconduct, an allegation he denies.
According to the order, the female complainant claims Krekic acted inappropriately while massaging her by “engaging in non-therapeutic touching of sensitive areas of the patient’s body, inappropriate contact of Mr. Krekic’s body with the patient, and exposure of sensitive areas of the patient’s body.”
The college’s Inquiry Committee believes the case has merit and there exists a “real risk to the public” while the investigation is underway, so it ordered Krekic to use chaperones until further notice, the order states.
Krekic has since filed a petition to the B.C. Supreme Court seeking to squash the order.
“Roughly 95% of (Krekic’s) patient base is female. The imposition of a chaperone will significantly affect his ability to earn a living,” the petition states.
“He expects a vast majority of his clients to seek treatment from other (registered massage therapists) rather than permit him to provide treatment with a chaperone in the room.”
The petition goes on to claim the order “will have a detrimental effect on his income and reputation without any of the allegations being tested.”
Krekic, who has been registered with the college since 1995, claims in his petition the complainant is an adult who consented to the treatment in February, and there is no evidence he conducted the massages for a sexual purpose.
As such, the petition argues the requirement for a chaperone is unfair to Krekic when an alternative measure, such as requiring him to work only at clinics, would be sufficient to mitigate risk to the public.
Krekic’s petition claims he’s employed at Lake View Wellness, although a person who answered the phone there Tuesday said he’s no longer with the company and instead working out of a couple other local massage clinics. Neither he nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment.
Eric Wredenhagen, the CEO of the college, declined Tuesday to discuss Krekic’s case for confidentiality reasons and said in a statement the length of investigations varies depending on case complexities and availability of witnesses and evidence.
The college’s ability to impose such interim orders was upheld by the B.C. Court of Appeal in 2016 in a case involving a Prince George massage therapist who was accused of masturbating while working on a patient.