VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — A former Virginia Beach masseur was sentenced to 16 years in prison Monday after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting multiple clients.
Virginia Beach Judge Stephen Mahan sentenced Malik Williams to 16 years in total (sentencing guidelines recommended 16 years to just over 34 years).
Williams was working at Wine and Unwind Day Spa in Virginia Beach, which has since changed its name. In April 2022, a woman reported an assault during her appointment to Virginia Beach police. Several other women came forward in the case during the police investigation. Williams was later arrested in August 2022.
During an interview with police, Williams told detectives he was performing sexual acts for about a year. He adds he used the clients body language and eye contact for consent.
“No one is ever uncomfortable,” said Williams. “All of them are consensual.”
Several women testified, painting a picture of Williams taking advantage of vulnerable women. A massage therapy expert testified that any sexual contact is unethical.
Defense attorney Daymen Robinson believes Williams should not be convicted. He said Williams is a father of a 6-year-old and has no previous record.
On Monday, one of the clients who was assaulted explained to the judge she thinks of the assault “every day.” The woman said she switched jobs, does not get massages anymore and is in counseling to heal from the trauma.
“I am reliving what happened to me when I was 12 now at 50,” said the woman, who will remain anonymous give the nature of this case.
The assault survivor said she testified to show her kids that unwanted touching and sexual assault is “not OK.”
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Scott Lang asked the judge to send a message to the massage therapist community.
“This is not a unique circumstance,” Lang said. He added that the law was “amended to deal with issues like this.”
Williams does plan to appeal the case, and the judge denied bond pending an appeal. Robinson will appear Wednesday morning for a determination of counsel hearing for the appeal.