Former Shelton masseur takes plea deal for allegedly touching clients inappropriately

Photo of Ethan Fry

DERBY — A masseur accused of touching several clients inappropriately while working at a Shelton spa has taken a plea deal in the case that will spare him from serving any jail time when he is sentenced next month.

A judge said he intends to mandate the masseur, 58-year-old Hyungchan Kim, be placed on the state’s sex offender registry for 10 years as part of the sentence.

Kim, of Queens, N.Y., entered written pleas of nolo contendere to eight counts of fourth-degree sexual assault before Judge Peter Brown at Superior Court in Derby April 21.

The nolo contendere, or no contest, pleas mean Kim did not admit or deny the charges — Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year behind bars — but the judge entered a finding of guilty after finding a factual basis for the allegations.

Most of the assaults occurred in April and May 2016, though one case dated back to November 2015, according to court records.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Sanangelo said some of the victims immediately complained to police of being touched inappropriately during massages, while others were reluctant to come forward and only did so after seeing news reports following Kim’s arrest by Shelton police in July 2016, prompting cops to investigate further.

The prosecutor said all eight victims were aware of the plea deal and supported it. She said several are expected to speak at Kim’s sentencing, scheduled for June 30.

Kim was first arrested months after two women who had gotten massages at Coco Spa on Bridgeport Avenue complained to police that he had allegedly touched them inappropriately.

Three of the victims reported to police that Kim tried to take articles of clothing or underwear off then. One said Kim tried to kiss them, the prosecutor said.

In 2018, Kim applied for a diversionary program that would have resulted in the charges being dismissed, but Brown denied the application after a victim advocate and prosecutor objected.

After years of pretrial negotiations, the plea deal in the case announced last month calls for a three-year suspended jail sentence and three years of probation.

Brown said he would look to a pre-sentence report compiled by probation officials to determine specific terms of the probation, but that he intended to order Kim not to have any contact with the victims, undergo sex offender treatment, and be placed on the state’s sex offender registry for 10 years.

The judge also advised Kim, who holds a green card, that the convictions could adversely impact his immigration status.