Nature of Action: On June 11, 2015, a panel of the Discipline Committee (the “Panel”) determined that Mr. Romyn: 1) failed to comply with section 75 of the College’s Bylaws, which requires each registrant to adhere to the College’s Code of Ethical Conduct (the “Code”); 2) failed to comply with sections 1(2) and 2(a) of the Code; and 3) committed professional misconduct in relation to four different former female patients (including a 16 year old) as set out in the Amended Citation dated May 29, 2015. View Amended Citation (PDF)
Given that Mr. Romyn is no longer a registrant of the College, the only penalties available under the section 39.2 of the Health Professions Act (the “Act”), are a reprimand under section 39(2)(a), and/or a fine under section 39(2)(f). As a result, the Panel ordered that Mr. Romyn be reprimanded and fined in the amount of $25,000.
However, the Panel noted in its decision that if Mr. Romyn had been a registrant at the time of the hearing “the Panel could not only have revoked his registration, but could also have imposed conditions on his eligibility to apply for reinstatement … and could have imposed continuing conditions on [his] practice …. ”.
Reasons: The Panel found that Mr. Romyn was convicted of five offences, being five counts of sexual assault contrary to section 271 of the Criminal Code and was sentenced to inter alia 9 months of imprisonment for each count (to be served concurrently) and two years of probation. Further, the Panel accepted the factual findings of the criminal trial judge that:
- With respect to C.E., Mr. Romyn provided massage therapy services to C.E. at his clinic in Courtenay, B.C. During a massage of C.E.’s neck, Mr. Romyn moved his hands lower to C.E.’s breasts. C.E. crossed her arms to cover her breasts, and Mr. Romyn continued to touch C.E.’s breasts, on the sides and under her arms.
- With respect to C.J-S., Mr. Romyn provided massage therapy services to C.J-S. at the [Resort and Spa]. C.J-S. told Mr. Romyn that she had tension on her back and neck. While C.J-S. was lying in a facedown position, Mr. Romyn massaged her back and neck, then began to massage the lower part of her leg, moving up until he was near her labia. Mr. Romyn touched C.J-S.’s labia approximately 4 to 5 times. Mr. Romyn asked C.J-S. if she would like an abdominal massage and she replied yes. Mr. Romyn massaged C.J-S.’s abdomen down to the public bone, close to her labia.
- With respect to A.V., Mr. Romyn, while providing massage therapy services to A.V., who was lying in a face-down position, touched A.V.’s labia approximately 10 times while massaging her upper thigh. While Mr. Romyn provided an abdominal massage to A.V., he touched her pubic hair. Mr. Romyn then massaged A.V.’s upper thigh while she was on her back. Mr. Romyn moved his hand into the crease between her hip and leg.
- With respect to N.V. (then 16 years old), Mr. Romyn, while providing massage therapy services to N.V., massaged N.V.’s upper leg and touched N.V.’s labia lightly, and then touched her labia firmly. While N.V. was turning on to her back, Mr. Romyn lifted the sheet. Mr. Romyn did not avert his eyes and he looked at N.V.’s body. Mr. Romyn told N.V. he was going to massage her abdomen, and while doing so, he touched N.V.’s pubic bone.
- With respect to another A.V., Mr. Romyn, while providing massage therapy services to A.V., touched A.V.’s labia three times while massaging her legs. Mr. Romyn then told A.V. to roll on to her back. Mr. Romyn massaged around her breasts, and then massaged her mons pubis. When Mr. Romyn touched A.V.’s labia, she could feel oil. When A.V. was leaving the room, Mr. Romyn smirked at her.
View Reasons for Decision (Verdict & Penalty) (Reissued on June 26, 2015 to correct a bylaw section reference – PDF)