Former massage therapist faces 12-day hearing over claims he molested 6 patients

·3 min read

A former B.C. massage therapist is facing a hearing over allegations he molested six patients and defied an order to have a chaperone in the room whenever he treated a woman.

Leonard Krekic, who has practised in Penticton, White Rock and Surrey, is scheduled to go before a disciplinary committee of the College of Massage Therapists of B.C. for 12 days beginning March 8.

A citation posted online this week details the claims that six women have made about Krekic's behaviour, including placing his hands under their underwear, massaging their genitals and breasts, making inappropriate comments, pressing his groin against them and even inserting his fingers into one woman's anus.

Krekic was first told in April 2019 that he needed to have a chaperone in the room for any appointments with female patients while the college investigated a complaint of sexual misconduct.

The college alleges that after the condition was in place, Krekic didn't let them know when he started practising in new places, failed to have a chaperone present for the entirety of an appointment with a female patient and practised without liability insurance for 15 days.

Krekic's licence was suspended in February 2020 after a woman filed a complaint alleging that he had touched her sexually while a chaperone was in the room and that he had contacted her inappropriately outside of work. Krekic then resigned his registration with the college in October.

'Embarrassing and painful'

Some of the allegations against Krekic are laid out in more detail in a lawsuit filed in December 2019 by one of the women who complained to the college. CBC is not naming her as she is an alleged victim of sexual assault.

Her notice of claim says she started seeing Krekic at her mother's suggestion, and trusted him "because he continually professed his faith as a Christian…. A typical massage session included soft Christian music and this defendant talking about his Christian faith."

But she alleges that Krekic placed his hands under her underwear and "on private areas with his eyes closed" during four appointments in March and April of 2019, an experience she describes as "embarrassing and painful."

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

She says she continued to see Krekic for appointments until October 2019, but with a chaperone in the room. When she asked why someone else was present, she alleges Krekic told her this other person was "job shadowing."

Even then, the woman says that during appointments on Oct. 2 and 9, Krekic repeatedly moved his body so that her hand was pressed against his crotch. The statement of claim says the chaperone was sitting with her back to the massage table at the time.

The woman also goes on to claim that Krekic invited her to rent a suite in his income property by suggesting she could earn money by helping him manage the building. She says she moved in on Oct. 27, 2019.

"On several occasions, this defendant entered the plaintiff's rental suite without permission. The plaintiff, therefore, felt violated and moved out of the suite on November 12, 2019," the notice of claim says

The woman's claim originally named the college as a defendant as well, accusing officials of failing to protect her from abuse, but she discontinued that part of the lawsuit in April 2020.

In his response to the claim, Krekic says that he "expressly denies that he took any actions that were inappropriate, sexual in nature, or in any way contrary to the CMTBC's code of conduct." He says all of the treatment he provided was "appropriate and provided with the express consent of the plaintiff."

He also denies entering her apartment without permission.

None of the claims in the lawsuit have been proven in court. Krekic has not responded to requests for comment from CBC.