LETHBRIDGE- A local massage therapist has been found not guilty of sexual assault.
The trial against 43-year-old Darren Hutchison began on Tuesday and continued
A 27-year old woman took the stand, saying that she had been going to
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
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
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".
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 Tuesday was
the first time she had seen the number they were asking for and the official
The judge found Hutchison not guilty after saying he had reasonable doubt and
didn't know who to believe.