Thursday, August 19, 2010

Massage therapist sentenced to 4 years 2 months for groping patients

An Oregon City, OR massage therapist was sentenced to four years and two months in prison for fondling vulnerable women. Rick McDaniel, the owner of Soulful Massage Therapy, plead guilty to 2 counts of second-degree sexual abuse in Clackamas County Circuit Court Tuesday, August 10. Originally, McDaniel was charged with 17 counts of 2nd degree sex assault involving 13 women, but most of the counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. After a victim videotaped McDaniel admitting the groping and blaming it on sex addiction, he was indicted in March this year.

McDaniel selected particularly vulnerable women -- one had leukemia, another had been raped years earlier, said prosecutor Bill Golden. The women need someone caring to talk to as they tried to "regain a sense of well being and balance," Golden said. Instead, they met a man who used the encounters "for his own gratification," Golden said.

Four victims were present during McDaniel's sentence. The former rape survivor said, "Over time, I opened my heart and revealed my personal history.You can't understand the pain I feel." A second victim stated, "I can't get back what I lost. Now I have hate inside me. You're a very sick person. You're not a man, you're an animal."

After McDaniel had tried to apologize to his victims, Circuit Judge Ronald D. Thom prevented him from doing so. "I think that would be highly inappropriate given the circumstances," said Judge Thom.

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