The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION
By: Grant Burr
Posted: 10/2/2018 4:45 PM
A former Blumenort massage therapist will spend nearly two years in jail after being sentenced on Monday for four counts of sexual assault and for breaching a no-contact order with one of his victims.
Kenneth Wall, who operated Ken’s Massage out of his Blumenort-area home, was found guilty in August of sexually assaulting four female clients, including a minor, between May and September 2014.
Wall, now 44, will spend two years less a day in prison, followed by three years of probation.
Three of women testified how Wall massaged their breasts, while a fourth woman shared during the trial how he performed a vaginal massage, all done without the consent of any of the victims.
"Living in a small community, where I grew up and where most people know each other has made this very hard," recalled one of Wall’s victims in a victim impact statement that was read in court.
"I tried to hold my head up, being confident, not shameful because I didn’t do anything wrong," she said.
In a statement filed by her husband, he spoke about how they went to police to share what had happened and questioned those in the community who were upset with the allegations and who saw Wall as a "family man."
"I ask how many more women have to be violated or exposed before it is enough and have to be stopped. If another 10 came forward would that be enough? If not that, how about 20 more? Would that person have to be your neighbour, your wife, your sister, or daughter, or your mother? Would that be enough?"" he asked.
"This is why we came forward. To stop others from being hurt by this man."
Another of Wall’s victims said she would never be the same and shared how she no longer attends church, remembering how Wall prayed over her after sexually assaulting her.
"I found it very hard to trust Christians, as I experienced firsthand how offenders can use their spirituality to assault people and mislead others about their true character."
She too spoke of not being believed.
"I was forced to experience the comments and gossip of the community, supporting the offender and the accusations of the public, even a friend, that none of it was true."
Wall’s teenage victim shared of crying herself to sleep and feeling emotionally drained.
"He took advantage of her vulnerability and her innocence," said the girl’s mother in a statement of her own.
"How could he have done this to her? She was just a child."
Judge Anne Krahn accepted the joint recommendation for Wall’s sentence and offered encouragement to the victims of his crimes.
"It is testament to her courage, her strength of character, that she came forward and all of this came to light," Krahn said of the first victim who went to police in 2014. Wall’s no-contact breach came shortly after, when he attempted to arrange a meeting with the victim through a family member.
"That is something unfortunately that we see way too often…is women come forward about sexual abuse they have suffered and then pressure comes on them to take it back," Krahn observed.
"They shouldn’t take it back."
The judge expressed disappointment in Wall’s lack of insight into his actions.
"I had hoped maybe today, when you were given an opportunity to speak, maybe you would have apologized to them and so I think you still don’t know how very real the impact, how very real the harm, is that you’ve done to them," she said.
An increase in the theft of vehicles, quads and ATV, as well as thefts from inside vehicles has been highlighted by Steinbach RCMP, who have turned to the public for support in preventing the crimes.
Police shared several tips in a ...
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