Wednesday, February 13 2013, 12:04 AM CST
Ex-massage therapist enters plea, victims in court
By Whitney Clark/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore. -- While Charles Lang won't face any time behind bars for sex abuse, he says the charges cost him his career.
"This last year has given me a lot of time to reflect -- obviously," Lang said in court. "And I've lost everything, including my 30 years in this community -- that includes my reputation."
Lang, a former massage therapist in Medford, pleaded no contest to multiple sexual abuse charges on Tuesday.
Prosecutor David Hoppe says the plea bargain is part of three separate cases. Six victims say Lang inappropriately touched their breasts during a massage. Lang told them he had a special license to give breast massages, however no such license exists.
One of the victims was his student at Rogue Community College. While she wanted to remain anonymous, she says Lang also offered her marijuana.
The plea was also a relief for Susan Clark, the first victim to come forward back in 2011.
"It felt good," Clark said. "It felt like a relief to finally be able to go on with my life, and to try to put this behind me and go forward."
Lang used to own Nepenthe Massage in downtown Medford. He was sentenced to five years probation and community service, and now is a registered sex offender.
Diana Nott with the Oregon Department of Massage Therapists says the board revoked his license last year. She says he'll most likely never get his license back.
"The issue happened during session," Nott said. "The likelihood of being allowed to have a license is probably pretty slim."
These types of cases don't happen often, Nott said. She says there are about 7,000 registered massage therapists in Oregon. In 2010 there were four sexual violations by registered massage therapists in the state, and the same number in 2011.
But because of a loophole in the system, Nott says the board can't investigate those who are unlicensed, -- even if abuse is reported.
"We don't have jurisdiciton over their conduct professionally, because they're not licensed professionals," Nott said.
In court Lang said he never meant to offend anybody. He says his main goal was always to heal.
Hoppe says the victims won't get any money in the case, they're just happy justice was served.