Massage therapist jailed over 20 indecent assaults

An Auckland massage therapist convicted of indecent assault has been sentenced to four years behind bars.

Operating under the business name Soothe Me Massage, Rajinder Paul Singh inappropriately touched 14 women during massages.

He was last year found guilty of 20 counts of indecent assault.

The court heard his victims experienced unwanted kissing, touching of their buttocks, inner thighs and genital area during full body massages, most purchased on discount website GrabOne.

Many of the victims were completely naked, others were just in their underwear.

Crown Lawyer Kirsten Lummis told the court Singh's victims were vulnerable, manipulated and many felt they couldn't speak up.

"The massages were often after hours or in industrial and isolated areas. They felt they couldn't speak up because they were concerned what might happen if they did so," she said.

"These were all intelligent and educated women from all walks of life, and all had the exact same feeling."

The court heard the first victim laid a complaint with Police against Singh back in 2012.

They brought him in for questioning, gave him a warning, and he assured officers he would no longer practice massage.

But he later completed two five-day massage therapy courses, and began practicing again - this time by selling his massages on GrabOne.

The 13 other victims were assaulted in 2017.

The massage industry in New Zealand isn't regulated, and the crown told the court that's a huge concern.

"This was a significant breach of trust - he painted himself as a professional and very few of (the victims) were aware that massage is unregulated. They looked on the website and thought it was professional which gave them a feeling of reassurance."

Singh also lied to his victims by claiming he'd massaged the All Blacks, their wives and other celebrities.

"They were a large exaggeration of the truth clearly designed to gain trust."