A former Penticton massage therapist is banned from the profession for 25 years and will have to pay over $105,000 for sexual misconduct on the job.
Leonard Krekic, who worked in Penticton and other cities in B.C., was found to have committed professional misconduct and unprofessional conduct while treating multiple female patients between 2012 and 2019 by a disciplinary panel on Aug. 5.
On Dec. 21, the College of Massage Therapists of B.C. rendered their decision on what Krekic’s punishment would be.
That punishment will be a ban from registering with the College to work as a massage therapist until January 1, 2048, and a fine and costs totalling $105,952.51.
Six different former clients of Krekic had filed allegations against him with the College, beginning with an allegation filed in 2019. Their names were redacted in the published report outlining the reasons behind the panel’s decision.
“This is one of the most serious cases to ever come before the Discipline Committee due to the nature and gravity of multiple instances of misconduct involving many different patients extending over a period of years,” reads part of the Aug 5 decision.
“Sexual misconduct is a particularly serious form of misconduct because it involves a breach of trust and abuse of patients. The duration and frequency of Mr. Krekic’s conduct was serious, and its impact on the complainants was profound.”
Krekic lived or worked in White Rock, Surrey and Penticton over the time where he treated the patients, though only the last patient is identified as having been treated specifically in Penticton.
Beyond the allegations from the six patients, the college also found that in 2019, after issuing an order early into its investigation Krekic had failed to keep them up to date when he moved where he was offering services, failed to provide reports on the patients he saw, failed to have a chaperone present during his appointments with female patients, and continued to practice therapy without liability insurance for a period of time.
A suspension of Krekic’s registration as a massage therapist was put in place in Feb. 2020, and a hearing over the allegations took place in 2021. In October 2020, Krekic resigned from his CMTBC registration.
In addition to multiple accounts of inappropriate touching of his patients, including their genitals, Krekic had multiple patients allege that he made inappropriate comments including offers to pray for his patients.
Krekic also entered into a close personal relationship with the sixth patient, who he used to help rent out his properties due to his ‘tarnished’ reputation.
The sixth patient stated that after moving out of an apartment she was renting from Krekic, she saw things clearly and immediately went to make a complaint.
The decision states that she was motivated because it was “intertwined with Christianity and with the manipulation…. I was very vulnerable and I believe that he saw that and he took advantage of it.”
The full 186-page report outlining the reasons behind the panel’s Aug. 5decision is posted on the College’s website, as is the shorter Dec. 21 decision.
Two of the patients testified that they had gone to the RCMP with complaints against Krekic. None of the allegations have been brought before the court and Krekic does not appear to have a criminal record.
At the time of the August decision, Penticton RCMP were reached for comment and responded to state that they do not comment on the existence of investigations.
To report a typo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss a single story and get them delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up today for the Penticton Western News Newsletter.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.