KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A Knoxville woman came forward to share her story with WATE 6 On Your Side after the arrest of a Knoxville salon employee earlier this week on sexual assault charges.
Hussein Abbas Al Bidery is also charged with impersonation of a licensed professional. He was arrested after a client of Salon Bella said she went to get her eyebrows plucked and was taken into a back room to a massage table. Bidery is accused of then giving the woman a massage against her will, touching her private areas in the process.
Another woman, who did not want to reveal her identity, told WATE 6 On Your Side she had gone to Salon Bella in March to get her eyebrows threaded.
“First, he threaded my eyebrows while I was in the barber’s chair. Then he took me to the back room, and he sat me in a massage chair, but it was sitting upright, and used a magnifying glass to make sure he got my eyebrows up close” she said. “He then told me to lie down on a massage table. He first started massaging my head, and then my back, and then he moved to my buttocks. And then he started rubbing down my legs and touching my private parts as well.”
The woman said she was too afraid and in too much shock to alert authorities, but is glad Bidery was arrested.
“I’m glad someone else came out, because obviously, I was too scared to,” she said. “I tried to block it out as best as I could.”
She also said she was unaware that Bidery wasn’t licensed.
“Normally they have licenses on the wall. I feel like I should have looked at something like that. Why was he in such a nice salon with no license and working on anybody who came through the doors?”
Salon Bella was closed Friday. People at neighboring businesses said it had been closed since Monday. The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is looking into four possible violations of Tennessee Code, including the manager not being present or ensuring individuals are properly licensed.
“Nobody deserves to be invaded. And I definitely had my privacy invaded,” the woman said.