Nature of Action: The Registrant, Christopher Sherman, RMT, voluntarily entered into a consent and undertaking agreement with the Inquiry Committee of the College. Mr. Sherman agreed to the following terms:
- a formal reprimand;
- a two-month suspension, commencing on May 14, 2018;
- remedial coursework on the topic of boundaries, ethics and professionalism;
- professional undertakings not to repeat the conduct;
- payment of a portion of the costs of the investigation in the amount of $2,400; and
- payment of a fine in the amount of $2,600.
Reasons: The College received a complaint in July 2017 from a female patient of Mr. Sherman (the “Complainant”).
As part of the agreement, Mr. Sherman admitted that:
- The Complainant was his patient at all relevant times.
- He accepted the Complainant’s Facebook friend request and communicated with her via Facebook Messenger about matters not related to her massage therapy treatments.
- He disclosed personal information about himself to the Complainant during massage therapy sessions.
- He asked the Complainant for her cell phone number during a massage therapy session for the purpose of sending her a Youtube video, and then exchanged text messages with the Complainant about cooking dinner together.
- He asked the Complainant on a date during a massage therapy session, while the Complainant was lying on the massage table and he was providing massage therapy services to her.
- He entered into a personal, romantic and sexual relationship with the Complainant which lasted for approximately 6 months.
- He failed to maintain patient records for massage therapy services provided to the Complainant while he was in a personal relationship with her.
- On three occasions during the personal relationship, the Registrant engaged in sexual relations with the Complainant in the treatment room at the clinic where he provides massage therapy services.
The Registrant acknowledged that by engaging in the conduct described above, he committed professional misconduct by contravening:
- section 75(a) of the College’s Bylaws and sections 2, 19, 20 and 21 of the College’s Code of Ethics;
- section 75(b) of the College’s Bylaws and sections 8(a), 9(b) and 10(a) of Schedule “D” to the Bylaws (the College’s Standards of Practice); and
- section 75(c) of the College’s Bylaws and section 3(1)(a) of Schedule “E” to the Bylaws (the College’s Standard for Patient Records).
The Inquiry Committee considered this conduct to be very serious. The Inquiry Committee is satisfied that the terms of the consent and undertaking agreement in this matter appropriately reflect the seriousness of the Registrant’s conduct.