NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Several of the women who were among the first to report that former massage therapist Tarek Mentouri either touched them or himself sexually during sessions or job interviews will not have their cases prosecuted, News4 Investigates has confirmed.
Police in both Nashville and Clarksville confirm several cases were not pursued for lack of probable cause, despite more recent cases where women allege the same exact crimes occurred to them.
The Davidson County District Attorney General’s office also confirmed in two cases, women’s cases weren’t brought to their attention until after the statute of limitations had passed.
Julia Stone first reported to Clarksville Police on March 18, 2019, that Mentouri had masturbated during her massage appointment and suspected he had placed his genitalia on her.
“I reported the incident within hours of it happening to me,” Stone told News4 Investigates. “My case would have been felony sexual battery.”
When Mentouri was arrested more than two years after, charged with 17 counts of sex crimes against women, Stone thought she would at last see justice.
Instead, she’s learned her case was never present to the district attorney.
“Do you feel that police ultimately failed you?” asked News4 Investigates.
“I do. They failed a lot of us,” Stone said.
Sgt. Charles Gill, Clarksville Police spokesman, confirmed through email with News4 Investigates that Stone’s case was not pursued due to a lack of probable cause.
“It’s absolutely astonishing, and not in a good way,” Stone said.
“To this day, you don’t know if your clothes have been tested for DNA?” asked News4 Investigates.
“I have no idea,” Stone said.
Gill confirmed through email that Stone’s clothes were never tested.
“Do you feel like they dropped the ball?” asked News4 Investigates.
“They absolutely dropped the ball,” Stone said.
Gill said the department would grant an interview to News4 Investigations but then backed out, apologizing in an email for the “last minute change” and that Stone’s case did not rise to the level of probable cause.
A statement released from Clarksville Police to News4 Investigates reads in part, “(The department) would not be participating in an interview to avoid our agency publicly disagreeing with an alleged sexual assault victim.”
News4 Investigates has learned that two additional women who reported sex crimes in Nashville also will not see their cases prosecuted.
Kelly Cochrane filed her police report in February 2018.
The Davidson County District Attorney’s office confirmed in Cochrane and another woman’s case that the statute of limitations had run out before prosecutors received the files from Metro Police.
“It’s not the victim’s fault that this took so long,” Stone said.
Kris Mumford, a spokesperson for Metro Police, declined requests for an interview but confirmed in emails that in both cases sufficient probable cause was not found, and the statute of limitation had passed.
Stone knows if Mentouri’s case goes to trial, she will not be called to testify.
“It hurts that there are so many of us that could lengthen his sentence and make it so there are less victims, but we’re not included,” Stone said.
As for why some of the women’s cases were deemed to be presented to district attorneys and others not, neither police department would discuss its investigations.
Several of the women who filed police reports told News4 Investigates that because their faces were down during the massages and could only report what they could feel and hear, detectives have questions about how much they actually witnessed.
Other women, however, said they witnessed all of the alleged crimes.