Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

B.C. massage sex assault case begins with victim testimony

"I felt like I was being inappropriately touched. I was in a vulnerable state."
Vancouver Provincial Court.

Warning: This story contains graphic details that may be distressing to some readers.

A woman who alleges a masseur sexually assaulted her when he touched her genital area and breasts said she felt violated by his actions.

The woman, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, was the first witness in the trial of Jun Dung Gao that began April 15 before Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Ellen Gordon.

In admissions of fact read to the court by Crown prosecutor Gail Barnes, Gordon heard the accused has admitted to giving each of the four complainant women massages.

“He is not admitting that he assaulted them,” Barnes said.

Gao has pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual assault after incidents at two massage locations in East Vancouver in 2022.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD) initially announced that two women reported being sexually assaulted at two different Happy Feet Massage locations.

Court documents allege two incidents happened Feb. 6, 2022 while two others occurred Jan. 15 and Jan. 30, 2022.

The massage company's owners cooperated with police and Gao was arrested on Feb. 10, the VPD said.

The police issued a news release about the situation and, ultimately, four women became complainants in the case, each of whom is due to testify in the case. One will be testifying from behind a screen in the courtroom.

First witness

The first witness told Gordon she had gone to Happy Feet to see another masseuse numerous times to get relief from cramping in her hands from work; however, that woman was not available Jan. 30, 2022 and another person was assigned the task.

She said she was told to remove all her clothes, a departure from earlier sessions.

“I thought it was a bit strange,” she said.

At one point, while face down, she said she believed the man was leaning over her. She told the court she thought she felt his penis in her hand.

“I moved my hand away. It continued.”

She alleged that unlike the other masseuse, he cupped her breasts, and massaged her "a bit too close" to her private parts.

The witness told the judge she "was focused by what was happening" and said “no.”

“I felt like I was being inappropriately touched. Not listened to,” she said. "I was in a vulnerable state.”

Not guilty pleas

Gao pleaded not guilty Feb. 22 and elected to be tried by a provincial court judge.

He was released on bail Nov. 14, 2022.

Bail conditions included no practicing massage or any other service where he'd physically touch a client.

Gao is also prohibited from applying for a Chinese passport or any other travel document. He cannot leave B.C. without permission from a bail supervisor. And, he can have no contact with four women and must stay away from two East Vancouver locations.

The BC College of Massage Therapists has confirmed to Glacier Media that it has never had a registrant named Jun Dong Gao.

The case is set for seven days.