A woman is suing a student massage therapist who admitted to fondling her breast during a massage and the Atlanta Professional Institute (API) in Decatur, where the incident alledgly occurred last May.
According to a police report, on May 14, 2010, Sonya Smith went to API to redeem a gift certificate she had received for a $15 massage.
After redeeming her gift certificate, Smith was led to a room where Jamall Young, a student massage therapist waited. According to police, Young asked her to strip down to whatever clothes she felt most comfortable in.
Smith’s attorney Rod Dixon said that she undressed down to her underwear and lay on her back on the massage table. Young then began to massage her right side.
“As he was moving over to the left side he grabbed her left breast and immediately started [fondling] it,” Dixon said. “She then pushed him away and got dressed and went to the front desk to make a complaint.”
After Smith made her complaint, an off-duty police officer present at the school was called to hear both Smith and Young’s side of the story. According to the police report, Young then admitted to the officer he had assaulted Smith.
Since the off-duty officer was out of her jurisdiction, Decatur Police were called to API. Smith recounted her side of the story to Decatur police, but Young had already left.
Young was arrested several months later and charged with sexual battery. He later pleaded guilty in DeKalb County Superior Court and was sentenced to 20 days in jail and 12 months probation.
API President James Garner said Young was terminated the day the incident happened.
Smith is suing both Young and API, claiming the school had knowledge that Young made “inappropriate sexual contact with at least one other person during the course of a massage,” prior to the May 14, 2010, incident.
According to Dixon, the civil case is in the discovery phase and should be moving forward in the next several weeks. His client declined to comment for this article and API declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.
“In his response to the civil case [Young] denied any wrongdoing and put forth a different version of what occurred,” Dixon said of Young’s pretrial testimony.