SASKATOON -- A former Saskatoon massage therapist will spend the next several years behind bars after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting his previous clients.

Mark Donlevy, 51, was sentenced to four years in prison for sexually assaulting six women.

"I would like to apologize from the deepest depths of my heart to the people I've hurt directly or indirectly," Donlevy said in court.

"I am regretful, I am remorseful, and I am truly sorry."

He hung his head low for the remainder of the hour.

The sentence will run consecutively to his current three-year sentence for sexual assault – a conviction that is being appealed by Donlevy.

Justice Brian Scherman handed the decision down on Monday at Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench.

When deliberating what sentence would be appropriate, Scherman said not all of the sexual assaults qualify as “major,” but he wanted the victims to know he considers them all “significant.”

"They were alone in either his or their homes, fully or partially undressed, and Mr. Donlevy took advantage of them," Scherman said.

Defence lawyer Alan McIntyre had asked for a sentence of two to three years. Crown prosecutor Sheryl Fillo proposed a sentence of six-and-a-half years.

Scherman accepted the Crown's sentence, but after weighing in “totality adjustment,” the act of balancing a sentence so it's not unduly long or harsh, Scherman lowered the sentence to four years.

Some of the assaults were considered digital penetration, where Donlevy used his hands to sexually assault his clients.

While some of the assaults did not involve "penile penetration," Scherman said they came very close.

"These offences were committed upon vulnerable individuals," he said. "He was testing victims."

Scherman acknowledged Donlevy "suffers from a multitude of illnesses both psychically and mentally, but he is not, in this court, as a victim. The victims are the ladies he assaulted," he said.

The charges were laid after several women came forward saying they were sexually assaulted during massage appointments in 2013 and 2016.

While Scherman declined to make a recommendation as to Donlevy's sentence be served, during sentencing submissions last week, Donlevy's psychologist recommended the sentence be served at Saskatoon’s Regional Psychiatric Centre to receive proper rehabilitation.

"It's our view that we want to review carefully what Justice Scherman has had to say, and at the same time discuss with Mr. Donlevy what approach we should take about this, if any," McIntyre told media outside of the courthouse.

"All in all I think it's good that this chapter is closed for everybody."

Speaking to media outside, Fillo commended the victims for their bravery.

"I thank them for coming forward – their courage has gone beyond what any of us would know," she said.

"There may be many more coming forward. I've heard from other people that they may be reporting matters. So I urge anyone else that has something to come forward. They will be dealt with seriously by the Saskatoon police force and any other police forces where they occurred," Fillo said.