December 23, 2010

Missouri regulators revoke Kansas City massage therapist's license over sexual misconduct

Potential customers, employers in Kansas warned

 

Jefferson City, Mo. - The license of a Kansas City-area massage therapist has been revoked by state regulators after he pleaded guilty to five counts of inappropriate sexual contact with customers of his massage business. The Missouri Board of Therapeutic Massage revoked the license of Justin Leonard on Dec. 20, effective that day.

The board's decision is based on the fact that, during massages in the Kansas City area, Leonard touched at least five of his customers inappropriately:

  • He pleaded guilty to deviate sexual assault, a Class C felony, in Platte County in June 2009 for his actions with three of the victims.
  • He was found guilty of two counts of deviate sexual assault, a Class C felony, in Jackson County in June 2009 for his actions with the fifth victim.
  • He pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual assault, a Class A misdemeanor, in Platte County in July 2009 for his actions with the fourth victim.

The crimes occurred at three different licensed massage therapy businesses in Kansas City, Mo. Leonard's massage therapist license expired in January 2009 and has not been renewed. The revocation order allows the board to report the action to the public and to federal databases that track actions against health care providers.

State regulators are warning consumers that while Leonard is has lost his ability to provide massage therapy in Missouri, the state of Kansas does not regulate massage therapists or massage therapy businesses. Potential customers and businesses employing massage therapists across the state line need to be aware of Missouri's action regarding Leonard's convictions and license revocation.

This was not a difficult decision for our board, said Renate Brodecker, chair of the Board of Therapeutic Massage. Preventing the inappropriate and illegal touching of clients is one of the most important reasons we license massage in the state of Missouri.

Leonard had been a licensed massage therapist in Missouri since 2007. The board strongly encourages consumers to verify the license of any massage therapist. They can do that online or by calling the board office at 573-522-6277. 

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals. The department's seven divisions work to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.

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