British Columbia

B.C. massage therapist suspended for dating patient

Christopher Sherman asked the woman on a date while she was lying on the table during a massage, according to an agreed statement of facts posted by the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.

Client filed complaint last July

A B.C. massage therapist has been suspended and fined for having a "personal, romantic and sexual relationship" with a patient. The woman complained to College of Massage Therapists of B.C. last July. (Shutterstock/Prostock-studio)

A B.C. massage therapist has been suspended for two months and fined after he dated one of his patients for six months.

Christopher Sherman asked the woman on a date while she was lying on the table during a massage, according to an agreed statement of facts posted by the College of Massage Therapists of B.C.

The pair knew each other before she became his client at a Vancouver clinic some time before the summer of 2017. She filed a complaint with the college in July of that year after the pair broke up.

In light of the subsequent investigation, Sherman was suspended from work as of May 14. He's also been fined $2,600, ordered to pay the college's costs of $2,400 and will have to take remedial training before returning to work.

The notice said he accepted the woman's Facebook friend request while she was his patient. After that, he asked for her cellphone number.

The pair ultimately were involved in "a personal, romantic and sexual relationship." She remained his patient at the Vancouver clinic throughout.

The statement said they had sex in the treatment room during their relationship on three separate occasions.

The college also said Sherman failed to keep patient records for the woman's massages while they were together. 

The college said Sherman failed to maintain records for massage therapy he gave his patient while he was in a personal relationship with her. (Shutterstock)

He and the woman are no longer dating. He declined to say when they split.

When reached by phone, Sherman told CBC News he knew he "messed up." 

"I made a mistake and I crossed my boundaries and I've dated a client," he said.

"It's been an eye-opening [disciplinary] procedure and it's all very legitimate and real," added Sherman, who has worked as a massage therapist for 14 years.

Sherman also said his actions "don't reflect" on the clinic in which he's worked.

The college of massage therapists' notice said he's been disciplined for violating the code of ethics, as well as standards of practice and standards for patient records.