A WARWICK massage therapist has pleaded guilty to sexual assault after he indecently touched a female client during a session.
Paul Kirk, now 48, who runs his business, Western Healing from his Warwick home, has already spent three months behind bars for three previous assaults involving two of his former clients in 2009 and 2010.
With his most recent conviction Judge David Andrews handed out six months jail, wholly suspended for 12 months, for his inappropriate dealings with a 31-year-old Warwick woman on February 15, 2011.
Crown Prosecutor Maita Aylward told the Warwick District Court the victim had made three appointments with Kirk to address back pain.
No sexual advances had been reported after the initial visit, Ms Aylward told the court.
However, on the second appointment, Kirk had told the client that he and his wife had a friendly couple with whom they "shared massages".
On the third visit, the offence had occurred.
Ms Aylward told the court the accused pulled off her underwear and he touched the side of her vaginal area.
"She pulled her pants back on and then he touched her around the pubic bone."
Kirk then massaged her breasts for about five minutes.
The prosecutor told the court the victim froze and did not know how to react.
The victim did not report the incident to police until Kirk had been released from jail in June 2012 and she saw him around town, near her workplace, three times in one week and felt uncomfortable.
Judge Andrews said he took Kirk's jail time already served into account when sentencing him in the Warwick Courthouse yesterday and said it was "commendable" he continued to work, despite suffering from muscular dystrophy, depression, anxiety, anergia and blindness in one eye.
Kirk continues to operate as a massage therapist/hypnotherapist/psychotherapist and counsellor in Warwick.
He now has his wife sit in on every consultation with a female client and records the audio of each session.
The Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy Australia, which trained Kirk, confirmed it had terminated his membership with the ICHP yesterday afternoon on learning of Kirk's criminal history.