Two registered massage therapists that have faced allegations of sexual assault worked at the same Surrey clinic and carried on a personal relationship for years, according to a document from the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.
Leonard Krekic and Gudbjartur (Bodhi) Haraldsson were both employed as massage therapists at the Pain Pro clinic at North Surrey City Centre.
In December, Krekic was banned from the profession for at least 25 years and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in fines and costs in "one of the most serious cases" of misconduct handled by his professional regulator.
According to a document related to Krekic's hearing, he had called Haraldsson to be an expert witness for the investigation into unwanted sexual touching of six patients.
Therapists allegedly shared patients
Haraldsson, 50, was arrested and charged with one count of sexual assault in November 2022 after Surrey RCMP received a report that a woman was sexually assaulted during a massage treatment at a clinic in the 13700 block of 96 Avenue.
One of Pain Pro's clinic locations is at Surrey Memorial Hospital, whose address matches the location of the alleged assault.
Haraldsson was later released from custody with conditions, including that he not provide any personal or professional therapeutic services or any form of massage therapy and body treatment to any person who identifies as a woman.
Haraldsson was disqualified from testifying as an expert witness during Krekic's hearing on the basis of his years-long professional and personal relationships with Krekic.
The college submitted evidence that Haraldsson was hired by Krekic in 2003, they worked closely together until approximately 2017, they worked in adjacent treatment rooms, and they shared patients.
The college also claimed that in addition to their work connections, Haraldsson and Krekic read the Bible and prayed together, and that they saw each other socially for meals and workouts.
Expert testimony rejected by panel
Haraldsson was permitted by the panel adjudicating the hearing to testify as a lay witness about the layout of the North Surrey massage clinic and certain equipment contained in the clinic room, according to the document.
It was after that testimony that Krekic called Haraldsson as an expert witness, and lawyers for the college objected.
"The College objected on the basis that Mr. Haraldsson does not meet the legal requirement that an expert must be impartial, independent, and unbiased," reads the document.
Ultimately, the panel disqualified Haraldsson as an expert witness citing the fact that he is a partner in Pain Pro, shares in the clinic's income, and that three of the complainants against Krekic alleged the sexual misconduct took place at Pain Pro while both men worked there.
"The panel considers that Mr. Haraldsson has a financial interest in the Panel not making any adverse findings, at least insofar as concerns the allegations pertaining to Pain Pro," reads the document.
Haraldsson is still listed as a registered massage therapist working at Pain Pro's North Surrey City Centre and Surrey Memorial locations on the company's website.
His bio lists him as only accepting male clients.