Chin named as masseur facing sexual assault charges

The identity of a Dunedin “massage master” accused of sexually assaulting four women can now be revealed.

Sonny Chin (63), who practices alternative Chinese medicine, has had name suppression since he was first charged in February last year. But Judge David Robinson quashed the order following an application by the Crown heard at the Dunedin District Court last week.

On his website, Chin calls himself a “Qi master body technician” and even boasts a testimonial from a former All Black who says he has been treated by the defendant for three years.

Chin was originally charged with indecent assault following an alleged incident in December 2019 but since then more women had come forward to police.

The defendant now faced eight similar charges, relating to four women, stemming from alleged attacks as early as February 2016.

Chin has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been on bail as the case has tracked through the court.

Among his conditions was one which allowed him to continue seeing female clients but only under the supervision of a chaperone.

When spoken to last year, Chin was resolute in his decision to defend the charges.

“I always say: the truth will come out,” he told the Otago Daily Times.

According to his website, Chin was the founder of Hang Sun Technique after he discovered past healers and medical professionals “left one or two missing links in the puzzle”.

His Qi therapy was targeted at people suffering illness, which he claimed was “brought about by genetic influences from the past and everything in our consciousness and behaviour”.

The issue of suppression was rigorously argued by defence counsel Anne Stevens QC and Crown prosecutor Chris Bernhardt, but the specifics of their submissions, as well as the reasons for suppression being revoked, were suppressed by Judge Robinson.

Indecent assault carries a maximum prison term of seven years and comes with a strike under the three strikes legislation.

Chin will appear in court again in February next year with the intention a jury trial date be set.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter