A WARWICK massage therapist has been placed behind bars after being convicted of three sexual assaults on two former clients.
Paul Kirk, who ran his business, Western Healing, from home, assaulted the women in 2009 and 2010.
One of the victims was just 17 years old and a year 11 student at the time.
Kirk will serve three months of a 12-month sentence behind bars and is due to be released on parole at the end of next month.
The mother of the 17-year-old victim, who sought treatment from Kirk for a sports injury, said the experience had been devastating for her daughter.
"I just don't know how people like that can get away with ruining young people's lives," the mother said.
"You spend your life protecting your child and you get an animal like that who destroys 17 years of work in 30 minutes," she said.
Kirk assaulted the teenager during his first two appointments with her, with the victim breaking down in tears and confiding in her mother after the second, more serious incident.
"As soon as she came out of that second appointment I knew something was wrong - I just knew," the mother said.
Kirk's second victim yesterday said she had grappled with the decision of whether to contact police, after being assaulted for "45 minutes to an hour".
After three days she made the courageous decision to come forward, in the hope that she would be able to prevent other women from going through a similar nightmare.
"The reason I went to the police is because as an adult I have realised that it is our responsibility - no matter how uncomfortable or embarrassing it is - to protect people in a more vulnerable position than us," the victim told the Daily News.
"What I really wanted was for him to have a record and to not be able to practise anymore - or do this to anyone else."
Kirk also spent 12 months working as psychotherapist at the Southern Downs headspace centre on a part-time basis.
A spokeswoman for headspace said Kirk's contract was terminated when the claims of inappropriate conduct were first raised.
She said there had not been any complaints from headspace clients in regards to Kirk.