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Breckenridge massage therapist could lose license before criminal trial begins

ROBERT ALLEN
summit daily news

SUMMIT COUNTY – A Breckenridge massage therapist accused of felony sexual assault on an 18-year-old could have his license revoked before the criminal case goes to trial.

Wang Kho’s license was suspended by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies in February because of the criminal case regarding an alleged incident last December.

A hearing with the state’s Office of Administrative Courts is set for June 8; the criminal trial at the local district court isn’t to occur until July 12.

The June hearing will be the first in the state regarding sexual misconduct since the massage therapy registry became active in 2009, according to the Colorado Attorney General’s office.

An attorney with the office said it would have been preferred for the civil case to be heard before the criminal case, but the rules wouldn’t allow for postponement.

It’s possible to appeal decisions made in the administrative court through the Denver district court.

The alleged victim in the cases claims Kho touched her genitalia, exposed himself and tried to initiate sex during a massage Dec. 5. Kho has pleaded not guilty and rejected a plea agreement for misdemeanor sexual assault.

Breckenridge attorney Sean McAllister, who represents Kho in the civil case, said the alleged victim and witnesses are expected to be subpoenaed, but Kho will not be testifying.

McAllister had represented Kho in the criminal case as well, but Idaho Springs attorney Bruce Brown recently took over the case.

The next hearing is May 17, and Brown said he should know by then whether it’s feasible to proceed with the July trial date.

“It really has to do with my ability to accumulate all the materials that might be out there on the case,” he said, adding that in such cases there are frequently new developments and “sometimes those need to be acted upon.”

Another first for the Kho case is that it appears to be the only case in the Fifth Judicial District for the defendant and family to set up an online support blog.

Kho’s wife, Julie Friedman, had set up the site earlier this year in part to collect donations for legal expenses. The site has since been deactivated, but the family continues to receive finances through a PayPal account.

Friedman declined to comment on the blog.

Chief District Judge Terry Ruckriegle – who’s been on the bench about 25 years – and District Attorney Mark Hurlbert both said they’d not seen a case of a defendant creating such a blog in the district.

“I have not seen anything like that,” Hurlbert said.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.


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