VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach police said the investigation started when a woman reported that a worker at a day spa sexually assaulted her during a massage in April.
After more reports from a few other women, detectives said they arrested Malik Williams on several counts of sexual assault and battery.
Court documents revealed Williams worked at Wine and Unwind Day Spa in Virginia Beach Town Center during the incidents.
"A several month-long investigation ensued, where multiple female victims were found experiencing the same non-consensual, inappropriate touching," said Detective Jackie Savage with the Virginia Beach Special Victims Unit.
Court records say the reports started in late April through the month of May.
Williams is charged with five counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of object sexual penetration, and three counts of simple assault. A judge granted Williams bond Wednesday morning on a few conditions.
"The detectives did a great job in obtaining a search warrant and proactively reaching out to his entire client list," said Lt. Rachel Wigand with the VBPD Detective Bureau.
Wigand and Savage said they believe the women who already came forward aren't the only ones who may have been impacted by these acts.
"In this case, we are expecting multiple victims to come forward that might have experienced what these other victims have, and we encourage them to come forward," said Savage.
A close friend of Williams said he is currently receiving support from friends and family following his arrest. The friend said it's difficult to believe Williams would commit these acts.
"This is not Malik. Malik is not a bad person," the friend said over the phone to 13News Now. "I'm not trying to take anything away from the women who are making these accusations. Malik is a great person, a great friend, a wonderful father and is overall an inspiration to be around."
His friend said Williams worked at the spa for a few years and never had a problem.
13News Now spoke with one of the owners of the Wine and Unwind Day Spa. She said her business's "entire staff is in full support of Williams." She was unable to comment further, saying she wants to wait for the investigation to conclude.
Virginia Beach detectives said they want the women impacted by these reported assaults to know the department offers services to help them. They are encouraging other people who feel they may have been assaulted or hurt by Williams to come forward.
The department has a victims advocate who helps provide therapeutic and counseling resources. Detectives said the advocate is a civilian working for the department and keeps all information from citizens confidential.
If you or anyone you know has been impacted, you are asked to call the Special Victims Unit at (757) 385-4101.