Parole official recommends former massage therapist who committed sex crimes should stay behind bars
After being accused of sex crimes by 19 women in Tennessee, a judge allowed Mentouri to move to Georgia, where three more women reported troubling behavior.
DULUTH, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A parole official is recommending a former massage therapist who committed sex crimes against women should stay behind bars.
Tarek Mentouri was convicted of three felony counts of sexual battery, two misdemeanor assault charges, and one misdemeanor charge of criminal impersonation in December 2022 — after being accused of sex crimes by 19 women in Tennessee.
While awaiting trial, a judge allowed Mentouri to move to Duluth to care for his sick mother. During the year he lived in Duluth, three more women reported troubling behavior. One accused him of stalking her and messaging her on Facebook, a website a judge had previously banned him from using.
Dr. Diana Eidson, a metro Atlanta teacher who met Mentouri in 2022, said Mentouri did not touch her but repeatedly offered her massages and never disclosed his criminal charges.
“He’s been allowed to continue his behavior far longer than he should’ve been,” she told Atlanta News First in November 2022. “He needs to be held behind bars so that he can’t do this anymore. He’s not been rehabilitated, and he needs to be.”
As part of Mentouri’s plea deal, a judge said he would be eligible for consideration of early release from prison after serving 30% of his six-year sentence. That meant he could be back on the streets in two years.
On Monday, Mentouri had his first parole hearing. He repeatedly wiped his eyes and said he felt remorse for his actions.
“I just feel a lot of guilt and horrible for what I did. I had no right to do that,” Tarek Mentouri said. “I’ve lost my home; I’ve been distant from family and friends. I lost my career.”
Mentouri has been convicted of misdemeanor assault of Peyton Parker, one of the women who spoke with Atlanta News First’s sister station in Nashville, WSMV. Parker was also at the hearing with her mother.
“I don’t believe any of his crocodile tears and I don’t believe he feels a shred of remorse,” Parker said.
In the hearing, Mentouri’s attorney, Daniel Murphy, said that his client had the potential to change.
“He had everything going for him, but he lost it all given his own bad choices,” Murphy said. “He can’t change what happened in the past, what he did, with these victims, but he can change what goes on in the future.”
After hearing from Mentouri and Parker, a parole official recommended no parole for Mentouri. In addition, he recommended Mentouri not be eligible for parole for another three years.
The Tennessee Board of Parole will make the final decision in the coming weeks.
If there’s something you would like Atlanta News First investigative reporter Rachel Polansky to dig into, email her at Rachel.Polansky@wanf.com.
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