member: Vic Louis Imperio
Hearing Dates: December 11 and 12, 2000
Charges of Professional Misconduct
- Sexual abuse of a client;
- Contravening a federal law and the contravention is relevant to the member’s suitability to practice;
- Contravening a standard of practice of the profession a published standard of the College or failed to maintain the standard of the profession; and
- Engaging in conduct or performing an act, in the course of practising the profession, that having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
Brief Synopsis of Facts
- The client alleged that after receiving a number of treatments with the member, the member touched her in an inappropriate sexual nature and conducted breast massage without her consent.
- The client laid criminal charges against the member resulting in a conviction for sexual assault.
- The client also commenced civil proceedings against the member, which resulted in judgment rendered against the member.
- The member held an Inactive Certificate of Registration in1999 and 2000.
- The member pleaded guilty to the charge of sexual abuse of a client.
The panel found the member guilty of sexual abuse of a client and failing to maintain the standards of practice but did not render a conviction in relation to the remaining charges because remainder of the charges were duplicative.
12 month suspension;
- Terms, conditions and limitations imposed on his Certificate of Registration to include the completion of the following courses:
- “Making Ethical Decisions and Maintaining Personal Boundaries”
- Record Keeping
- Professional Standards
- Refresher Course; and
- A peer assessment to be conducted 6 to 12 months after the member’s resumption of practice; and
- Publication of the decision.
Panel’s Reasons For Decision
The panel found the client was credible and that the member admitted to sexual abuse of his client. The panel also made note that the member had little knowledge of the standards of practice as they related to breast massage. They found the conduct in question extremely serious and that the member had abdicated his responsibilities to his client and the profession. The panel took into consideration that the member had been imprisoned, had a civil judgment against him and had not worked in the profession for two years when determining the penalty. The nature of the sexual abuse involved in this matter did not require mandatory revocation, but the panel found the conduct in question warranted a significant penalty.