A Calgary massage therapist who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting clients has been sentenced to four years behind bars.
Brad McLellan was first charged in December 2015 after a client told police she’d been assaulted during a massage therapy appointment. Since then, a total of six complaints have been lodged against the massage therapist.
He pleaded guilty in June 2018 to four counts of sexual assault. The charges against two other clients were withdrawn.
Three female victims read victim impact statements at court on Friday, telling the court how their lives had been dramatically affected physically, emotionally and financially, since the assaults.
One victim expressed how her journey to healing doesn’t end with a court sentence. She told the court she has quietly carried the impact of sexual assault for three years.
“I imagine it as a black web that creeps — silent and omnipresent,” she said.
Another victim told the court she felt ashamed and broken, unable to eat or sleep.
The 49-year-old sat in the prisoner’s box with no facial expression and often looked down or away from the victims.
He eventually rose from the prisoner’s box and apologized to his victims, saying he’ll be eternally sorry for his actions.
Crown prosecutor Sarah Goard-Baker called the joint submission of four years a “significant sentence” but appropriately reflected how grave the offences were and the offending behaviour was.
“I want to emphasize that this case is a testament to the courage and perseverance of the eight women in this case who came forward. I also want to thank and highlight the efforts of detective Gail Chambers and the Calgary Police Service.
“It was an outstanding investigation and a diligent pursuit of justice.”
McLellan’s lawyer, Cory Wilson, also called it a “proper sentence” given the number of complainants.
He said McLellan was remorseful.
“He’s truly sorry. He expressed that to me time and time again,” Wilson said. “It was a heartfelt apology. He meant it. He knows what he did and he acknowledged what he did and now he’s being punished for it.”