LETHBRIDGE: The sexual assault trial of a local massage therapist has been put on hold until later this week, as those involved in the case were not able to wrap it up Tuesday as planned.
A 27-year old woman took the stand, saying that she had been going to 43-year old Darren Hutchison since October of 2006 for massage therapy for back and ankle problems. She stated that in May of this year she went to him because she was sore and stiff after a run, and he suggested she come back within a few days for another appointment. When she said she couldn't afford it, he said it would be free.
She returned for the weekend appointment, saying that everything was normal until mid-way through the massage when she rolled over onto her back. She told the court that he started talking about special relationships, then slid his hand under the blanket covering her and touched her in a very sexual way.
She continued to testify that when she objected he said, "Oh my God, Oh my God, I thought you said it was okay." She went on to say that he then went around the bed, placed his hands on her head and said, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to betray you. Is my life over?"
The woman noted that in all the years she had been seeing Hutchison, nothing inappropriate had ever happened before.
When Hutchison took the stand, he agreed that he had apologized, but said it was because he felt bad about making her uncomfortable and that there was absolutely no sexual contact. He added that he also said "Is my life over?", but said it was a rhetorical question as he knew any allegations would ruin his career, which they ultimately did. Hutchison continued that since he was charged his career has been "crushed".
It was also pointed out by the defence that the alleged victim has had a legal firm prepare a statement of claim against Hutchison for $75,000 for lost wages, as she was given medical leave for three months from her job because of the incident. The woman acknowledged the statement of claim, but said this was the first time she had seen the number they were asking for and the official paper-work.