Former Nashville massage therapist’s attorney asks charges to be tried separately
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - After News4 Investigates identified multiple women who said a massage therapist sexually assaulted them, that therapist’s attorney is asking some of the changes be tried separately.
Tarek Mentouri, the man accused of multiple sex crimes, appeared in Davidson County Criminal Court on Friday.
Each woman’s story has a theme. Mentouri lured them into his home and business. From there they said he sexually assaulted them, in most cases targeting their feet.
As Mentouri made his way into a Davidson County courtroom, he was first asked to remove his colorful mask, and then listened as the undercover Metro Police on his case took the stand. The sergeant recounted each victim’s experience they had with a man they went to for either a massage or a job opening.
“He said your feet feel so good in my hands and continued to make sexual grunting noises during the massage,” the sergeant.
Prosectors said Mentouri’s foot fetish is what almost all 19 victims have in common. Some told News4 Investigates about this when they came forward two years ago.
“I felt his hot breath on my toes, and then I felt his tongue touch one of my toes,” one victim told News4 Investigates in 2020. “But then I flinched, and I kicked him.”
“He took his hands off my feet and told me he was going to admire them,” another victim said.
“It creates a problem,” defense attorney Joseph Morrissey, who wants some of the charges to be tried separately, said. “There can be nothing more inflammatory than walking into a courtroom and telling a potential pool of jurors they are going to hear proof from 15 different testimonies, from 15 different witnesses, about accused sexual acts, assaults, and harassments.”
“This is his common scheme. That is his plan,” prosecutor Chadwick Jackson said. “He has a foot fetish, and with the similarities between all those other offenses, as I mark off and highlight, I think on every single instance of all 14 victims either commented on, or touched, or licked, or sucked their feet or toes.”
Judge Jennifer Smith is considering the request to separate cases and will decide in the coming weeks.
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