A man who inappropriately touched six women during massages at his wellness clinic in Merritt was handed a conditional discharge in Merritt provincial court today.

Should he remain on good behaviour, Michael Jolly will not have a criminal record stemming from incidents involving six different women at the A&M Holistic Wellness clinic in 2017.

The identities of the victims are protected by a publication ban.

In exchange for pleading guilty to assault, Jolly will remain on probation for 36 months — a term recommended in a joint submission by both Crown and defence.

Jolly is not to contact the victims, nor is he to provide any massage services to any women, without another woman present (other than his wife), for 36 months, among other requirements.

Court heard that when Jolly was initially charged with sexual assault in 2017, he closed the A&M Holistic Wellness clinic in Merritt and moved to White Rock.

But he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault on Tuesday, as lawyers for both the Crown and defence agreed that the incidents involved non-consensual touching, but were not of a sexual nature.

“Reading the victim impact statements, it is apparent that the various complainants found the experience traumatic and upsetting,” said provincial court Judge Stephen Harrison.

All of the incidents occurred at the A&M Holistic Wellness clinic during massage treatments administered by Jolly, who advertised himself as a certified massage therapist but not a registered massage therapist (RMT).

Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen said his client accepted that he had not taken the time to explain the “areas and boundaries” covered in the full body massage program before beginning the treatments.

While terms of the conditional discharge place limits on Jolly conducting further massage treatments on female clients, court heard that the 57-year-old has developed medical condition which prohibits him from working as a masseur.