Woman says she was violated during massage


DECATUR, Ga.,None - A woman is speaking out after she said a student therapist at the American Professional Institute in Decatur touched her breast during a massage.

“It’s just been devastating to me,” said Sonya Smith.   

She said the incident happened to her last May.  She said one of the student therapists, Jamall Young, was 15 minutes into the massage when things went wrong.

“He proceeded to violate me,” said Smith.

A Decatur Police Department report explicitly described how Young handled Smith’s breast.  She said she pushed him away.

“I think, initially, I was in shock because I kind of shook my head and was like, ‘What just happened?’” said Smith.

Smith reported what happened to school officials and said they were very apologetic.

She also reported it to police.

According to police, Young admitted to officers that the incident happened.  He later pleaded guilty to one count of sexual battery.

But now that a lawsuit has been filed on Smith’s behalf against Young and the American Professional Institute, neither the former student nor school are admitting to any wrongdoing.

“They were negligent in hiring him, in supervising him and in allowing this to occur,” said Smith’s attorney, S.K. Rod Dixon.  “He stole her body.  He stole her spirit.”

Smith said she is speaking out for herself and other who may be remaining silent.

“And I want to empower those women and protect our children against predators,” said Smith.  “The worst part is that it happened, the other part is that I will never be able to forget it.”

Channel 2 Action News reporter Eric Philips reached out to attorneys for both Young and the school.  Both said they would not comment on pending litigation.

The attorney for the school would only say that he denies the allegations in the lawsuit against his client.

Channel 2 Action News

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