Freeland massage therapist charged with sex crimes

The judge set bail at $7,500 for the health care provider, who was accused of sexually assaulting two clients last year.

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FREELAND — A Freeland massage therapist is accused of sexually assaulting two of his clients last year, according to court documents.

On May 22, prosecutors charged Christopher W. Blunt, 33, in Island County Superior Court with two counts of indecent liberties. Under the charges, Blunt was acting as a health care provider when he allegedly had sexual contact with patients during a treatment session.

Blunt appeared in court May 21. The judge set his bail at $7,500 and barred him from performing massages on female clients.

Early this year, a 38-year-old woman reported to the Island County Sheriff’s Office that Blunt massaged her exposed breasts during a session at the end of December, according to a deputy’s report. At the end of the session, he allegedly kissed her on the forehead and thanked her for “sharing” her body with him, the report states.

The woman said she was frozen and feared resisting because she was alone with Blunt, the report states. The report notes she is very petite while he is 6-foot-8.

Later, an inspector with the state Department of Health notified the deputy that he received another complaint about Blunt. A 69-year-old woman reported Blunt rubbed her between the legs without any warning or explanation, the report states.

In an interview with deputies, Blunt denied any wrongdoing or crossing any lines. He said he does “work” on women’s breasts and groin areas, but he said the women are always draped and give their permission, the report states.

Blunt told the deputies he is in a relationship with a woman who used to be his client, but he stopped being her massage therapist once they started dating, the report states.

Under the Washington Administrative Code, a massage therapist is prohibited from touching a patient’s genitals. A massage therapist is only allowed to massage a patient’s breasts if the therapist has obtained “prior signed or initialed written and verbal informed consent,” completed a specialized 16-hour training course on breast massage and uses proper draping techniques.

In addition, the administrative code prohibits massage therapists from having sexual relationships with a former patient within two years after the provider-patient relationship ends.

If convicted of the charges, Blunt could face from 31 to 41 months in prison under the state sentencing guidelines.

Jessie Stensland; jstensland@whidbeynewsgroup.com

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sibling publication to The Herald.

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