VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A massage therapist is on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a number of his clients.
Malik Williams is facing seven offenses for sexual penetration, aggravated sexual battery, and assault and battery. Police said they received their first complaint in April 2022 from a customer who said she had been sexually assaulted during a massage at Wine and Unwind Spa on Virginia Beach Boulevard.
On Wednesday, four women took the stand to tell their stories.
They said that during their appointments at Wine and Unwind Spa – changed to NOW Healing Spirits and Healing Spa – Williams violated them.
On Thursday, massage therapy expert Dawn Hogue, executive director of the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, also took the stand.
She cited the standards and code of ethics every licensed massage therapist is meant to follow.
She said both documents explicitly state that they are not to touch any client’s private parts, even if they are asked.
The defense had many arguments.
For one, they said sexual battery is an incorrect charge and claimed that Williams held no malicious intent behind his actions.
They also said that one of the alleged victims is in it for the money.
In addition to testifying in court on Wednesday, she is also suing Williams.
In response, the prosecution said that after the alleged assault, she had texted her friend, “911 call me.”
They said that there was no way she would go through such a traumatizing experience for a pay out.