June 13th, 2024

Massage therapist awaits sentencing


By Delon Shurtz on June 17, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A former massage therapist who has been waiting for seven months to be sentenced for sexually assaulting a female client, will have to wait at least another three months before he learns his fate.
A sentencing hearing for Cyprian Mudenge has been scheduled for Sept. 17 in Lethbridge Court of Queen’s Bench. The hearing will be held almost a year after Mudenge was found guilty of one count of sexual assault.
Following Mudenge’s trial last October, Madam Justice Johnna Kubik found him guilty Nov. 23, and said the massage therapist’s testimony at trial was not believable, while the victim’s evidence was.
During his trial, Mudenge, 55, claimed he never touched the woman inappropriately during a massage Nov. 28, 2018.
The 36-year-old woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, testified, however, that Mudenge got too close to her breasts and inappropriately touched other parts of her body during the massage. She said she felt violated, but admitted she allowed Mudenge to continue the massage in case she was mistaken or the inappropriate contact was accidental.
“I was in shock and I was too scared to say anything,” the woman told court.
She finally ended the massage after Mudenge fully exposed her left buttock and touched her vagina beneath her underwear, she testified.
Mudenge said the woman gave him permission to move her underwear so he could massage her glutes and give her a “skin-on-skin” massage to better reach the piriformis muscle located deep in the buttocks. He said her body, except where he was specifically massaging, was always covered by a sheet, and he never massaged beneath her underwear or touched her inappropriately.
Following the judge’s finding of guilt, the matter was adjourned for two days, and Lethbridge lawyer Greg White requested a pre-sentence report for his client. A pre-sentence report, which takes several weeks to prepare, typically presents the judge and lawyers with an offender’s personal information, history and circumstances to help determine a fit sentence.

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