Warning: This story contains disturbing details. Discretion is advised.
A former massage therapist from Dartmouth, NS, has been sentenced to a total of six years in prison for sexually assaulting four of his clients.
in March, Trevor Jordan Stevens35, admitted to sexually harassing women during massage therapy appointments between 2013 and 2019.
Stevens made the first victim in 2013, the second in 2016, and the third and fourth between 2017 and 2019.
During her sentencing hearing on Monday, Chief Justice Pamela Williams, speaking directly to the victims, said she wished she had the power and authority to assist them in their rehabilitation.
“It certainly takes a great deal of courage – and maybe some pain – to re-live these events, in some ways, of course,” he said.
“No sentence can adequately compensate you or return you to where you were before your involvement with Mr. Stevens, but hopefully it will close something for you.”
The court heard that at some point, Stevens would tell the victims that the attacks he committed were part of his treatment.
The judge said that “there was a lack of insight on the part of Mr. Stevens – a genuine lack of insight.”
“It wasn’t helping people. And maybe it was a means for you to be able to justify your actions, Mr. Stevens, but you had a lot of authority and power over these victims, and you used that situation to manipulate.” And the groom did it,” Williams said.
“And to suggest that you were just helping them and trying to fix them is, at best, pointless and ridiculous.”
Victim of NS massage therapist says ‘there’s no reason’ he should have practiced after sexual assault allegations
Stevens has previously been convicted in a separate sexual assault case and is Currently serving a four-year sentence, His new punishment will be given continuously.
The six-year sentence came on a joint recommendation by Crown and Stevens’ attorneys. He will serve six months for the first and second charges, two years for the third charge and three years for the fourth charge.
Stevens will also remain on the sex offender registry for the rest of his life, is under firearms prohibition for the next 10 years, and is not allowed to have contact with victims during his sentence.
‘A position of power and trust is never an invitation to harm anyone’
Stevens first assaulted the victim on January 9, 2013, while he was working as a registered massage therapist at Kinesis Health Associates in Dartmouth.
According to a statement of facts read during his sentencing, during the massage appointment, he sat down at the table next to the victim, placed his hand on her and carried her on his lap, where he felt a “bulge” .
The victim “was waiting for treatment to end,” went away, and never came back.
In her impact statement, the victim said that after the attack, she had difficulty sleeping and eating, and experienced “horrible” flashbacks, panic attacks, anxiety and intrusive thoughts.
She also became distrustful of men, especially strangers.
“I no longer felt safe and anxious I would benefit again,” she said, adding that she also suffered from headaches and abdominal pain. He was later diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer.
The victim said she felt “afraid” to come forward and fear that no one would believe her, but she felt it after reading about her previous sexual assault case in the media.
“A position of power and trust is never an invitation to harm anyone,” the victim impact statement said. “Women and patients deserve to feel safe at all times. It was time to take back our power and voice and save others from suffering.”
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The second victim was a client of Kinesis Health Associates and was treated by Stevens a total of nine times.
At first, the court heard, everything seemed “normal,” but at one point she remarked to him that it was difficult for male massage therapists to treat female clients because of “fear of accusation.”
During his third appointment, he focused his treatment on the area of his abdomen – unrelated to the part of his body that needed treatment.
At the woman’s last appointment, which took place on April 4, 2016, she was lying face down on a massage table, covered with a sheet and wearing only her underwear.
Stevens removed the sheets and her underwear and massaged her bare buttocks with his hands, without telling her what he was doing or asking for consent.
The statement of facts said the woman was “frozen” and in shock, unable to say or do anything. She neither jumped nor moved because she did not want to expose her breasts.
“(She) said she felt terrible after the incident and sat in her car for about 10 minutes, unsure what to do,” in a statement of facts read out aloud Monday by Crown Attorney Katie Lovett Having said.
“She was too embarrassed to talk to the clinic about what happened.”
The woman never saw Stevens again for treatment.
Stevens assaulted a third victim, whom he treated over the course of 31 months, on February 28, 2017 and October 26, 2019. She attended four appointments at Kinesis Health Associates before setting up her practice in the basement of her home. Dartmouth.
According to the statement of facts, Stevens told her that he left Kinesis because he “didn’t get along with his boss.”
During her appointments, sometimes he would lick her nipples while massaging her breasts and kiss her without her consent.
He began using a folding knife during a few visits, running it along his body and instructing him to tell her that it was a “good knife”. He also made obscene comments with her.
His behavior escalated to slapping and strangling her, and at one point he entered her vagina with his fingers, causing her to experience “sharp pain” for days to come.
In her victim impact statement, the woman said the abuse began “one of the lowest parts of my life, physically and mentally.”
She said the process was “insidious”, as the appointments began as non-threatening and increased over time.
“Somehow, along the way, everything returns to normal. What started out as a treatment was putting my body at risk over and over again,” she said.
“What he did is terrifying, especially given the power imbalance between the massage therapist and the clients. I trusted him and…he took advantage of it.”
Similarly, the fourth victim saw Stevens a total of 55 times over the course of 26 months. He assaulted her on July 10, 2017 and October 11, 2019 and was doing business out of the basement of his house at the time of these crimes.
During appointments, the court heard, he “regularly” asked her about her sex life. He also asked her if she used sex toys, which made her feel “humiliated”.
During an interview, he placed his hand on her pelvic area and asked her details about her history of sexual assault, and told her that he could tell she had “rape trauma.”
“Mr. Stevens will massage the lower pelvic area, just above her vagina,” the statement said. “He told[her]that he was trying to massage her uterus to simulate an orgasm , and he needed this treatment … to relieve the pain.”
Stevens also pulled her hair “frequently” and climbed atop the massage table while massaging full-frontal breasts.
When the victim spoke to him about his practices, he told her it was a “special blend” of osteopathy and massage therapy.
In an interview after the sentencing, Crown Attorney Lovett said Stevens’ abuse of power was a serious factor.
“They were all looking to Mr Stevens for treatment and believed he was a professional medical person within the community,” she said.
“Since he took advantage of his position as a medical professional, he violated his position of trust with respect to the four victims.”
Stevens has already been convicted of sexual assault in a separate case. In November 2021, he was sentenced to four years in prison for raping a woman at his home in Dartmouth in late 2012 or early 2013.
During the violent attack, Stevens slapped the victim, pushed her onto a couch and covered her mouth, nose and throat to the extent that she was having difficulty breathing.
Although he was indicted in 2018, he was able to continue practicing massage therapy until May 2021, when his Membership of the Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia was suspended,
Massage therapy is an unregulated industry in Nova Scotia and the association has previously said there was little it could do to stop him from practicing after the allegations were made.
The woman attacked by Stevens, who spoke with Global News shortly after her sentencing, called for massage therapy to be regulated to protect vulnerable clients.
“There is no reason why he should be allowed to continue practicing while being charged for these offences,” the woman, who was not one of his clients, said at the time.
Greg McDonald, executive director of the Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia, said Monday that the association is continuing to work with the Department of Health and Wellness to regulate the industry.
Survivors of sexual violence in Nova Scotia can contact the Sexual Assault and Harassment phone line for support at (902) 425-1066, 24-7. The phone line is operated by the Dalhousie Students’ Union. they can also contact Legal advice for survivors of sexual assault Program by calling 211 to receive free legal advice.
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