Trial begins for massage therapist accused of sexually assaulting 16 men
Dennis Quebral Baltazar, 45, accused of assaulting patients during appointments
The trial has begun for a Calgary massage therapist accused of sexually assaulting 16 men during appointments.
Much of the trial will be taken up by the testimony of the men who say Dennis Baltazar, 45, sexually assaulted them during massage therapy sessions.
Between November 2017 and October 2018, Baltazar worked at The Movement Sports Clinic and the Chinook Chiropractic Clinic. At the time charges were initially laid, police said both clinics had been co-operative.
Baltazar was initially arrested in March 2019 and charged with four counts of sexual assault. After news of his charges, more men came forward.
All of the offences are alleged to have taken place during scheduled massage therapy appointments.
"During the massage therapy appointments in question, the [complainants] experienced Dennis Baltazar engaging in some form of touching of their genital area," said prosecutor Donna Spaner in her opening statement.
"Further, we expect some complainants will testify that following massage therapy treatment from Dennis Baltazar, non-consensual 'hugging' occurred."
Baltazar received a degree in physical therapy in the Philippines and a massage diploma from Mount Royal University, according to an archived online biography from his former place of employment.
Baltazar is currently out on bail. He is represented by defence lawyers Karen Molle and Jennifer Ruttan.
Spaner and Sarah Goard-Baker are prosecuting the case, with Court of Queen's Bench Justice Willie deWit presiding over the judge-alone trial, which is set to last four weeks.