The Iowa Supreme Court rules a former Polk County massage therapist who was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse of a client should get a new trial because of improper use of evidence.
The client filed a complaint against Kevin Thoren in 2019 after she says he inappropriately touched her chest and between her legs during a massage session. Thoren denied touching her — and presented evidence that some clients experience phantom touching with the technique he used.
The Supreme Court ruled said the testimony of five other clients who claimed Thoren abused them prejudiced the jury. It also says allowing testimony that Thoren gave up his license to the Board of Massage Therapy after the investigation of a complaint could have created prejudice by making the jury believe it was an official, state-sanctioned finding under the law — when in reality it was the result of a settlement.
Here’s the ruling: Thoren ruling PDF