The PT accused of touching his female client’s buttocks said there was consent, and he will be filing a police report against the “false accusations”.
In the wake of viral footage of a particularly hands-on training session that prompted a gym to ban him, the personal trainer accused of touching his client inappropriately told AsiaOne on Wednesday (Aug 5) that he would be filing a police report against the “false accusations”.
Cheryl Loh, another personal trainer,writing that his behaviour was “not normal”.
However, the accused, who goes by the name David Mesut, said that his client had consented to the physical contact.
In the clip, David is shown touching his female client’s buttocks several times while she is performing several exercises at local gym Apeiro Performance.
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❌ 𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗔𝗕𝗦𝗢𝗟𝗨𝗧𝗘𝗟𝗬 𝗜𝗡𝗔𝗣𝗣𝗥𝗢𝗣𝗥𝗜𝗔𝗧𝗘 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗮𝗰𝗵/𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗿 — 𝘄𝗮𝘁𝗰𝗵 𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝗱 — ❌ When the other party is not comfortable with such action, this is considered a case of sexual assault. It is a very serious offence in Singapore, and unfortunately this has happened way too many times with coaches abusing their position and authority to do things like that. I personally consider this more despicable and disturbing than molesting a stranger – this is using the student’s trust to commit such an act, which can really mindfuck a person for a long time. The coach in this video is a freelance trainer working by himself, and is not an employee of the gym. I have reached out to the client (swipe to second image) to let her know that it is NOT normal for such physical interaction during training, it is very unprofessional, and that she can speak up if she have felt uncomfortable about her coach touching inappropriately and groping during some exercises. Also spoke to her (not on text), and it turned out this was indeed her first time having a coach, facing such situation for the first time. 𝗦𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗵𝗶𝗺 “don’t touch my butt” a few times over 7 training sessions, but he still went ahead to do so, using “checking muscles” as an excuse – which many trainers will know that’s complete BS. 𝗔𝗽𝗲𝗶𝗿𝗼 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝗵𝗶𝗺 from using the gym space to conduct his own PT sessions – with effect from 2 August – and the client has now stopped training with him. She will not be making a police report, but she has given me the permission to share about this as she also wants all women, girls, or even guys out there to know that this behaviour is not acceptable and that nobody should put up with any actions that make them feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and disrespected. Anyone that feels this way should speak up and not let the perpetrator have his/her way. #ShareThisPost I am very glad that @apeirolife doesn’t tolerate such behaviour, and I’m happy to be conducting my PT sessions in a safe, fun, and professional space with other likeminded professional trainers. _
Loh, who frequents the gym and conducts sessions there, told Lianhe Zaobao that she had noticed David’s behaviour about two weeks ago, but held her tongue as she was not certain if the pair were a couple.
But when she saw them again on July 31, she decided to film their interaction.
She later contacted the woman and informed her that David’s methods were “unprofessional”.
In her text conversation with the woman, Loh explained: “There are many ways to teach muscle engagement, and the way he is doing it is not how a professional coach should behave.”
The woman told Loh that she had felt uncomfortable and previously told David not to touch her buttocks. However, the trainer allegedly told her that he needed to do so to “check [her] muscle”.
According to Loh, the woman has stopped training with David.
“She will not be making a police report, but she has given me the permission to share about this as she also wants all women, girls, or even guys out there to know that this behaviour is not acceptable and that nobody should put up with any actions that make them feel uneasy, uncomfortable, and disrespected.”
As Loh’s post gained traction online, receiving over 15,000 likes and 900 comments, Apeiro Performance said in a statement on Aug 4 that they have banned the trainer, who is not an employee of the gym, from their facilities with effect from Aug 2.
In an Instagram story, the gym added that “any kind of such action will not be tolerated by our trainers and staff alike”.
However, when contacted by AsiaOne, David denied the allegations of sexual misconduct.
He said he would be making a police report on the “false accusations” and is obtaining legal advice.
Maintaining that his client had given consent to the physical contact, he said: “The video was shown to me by the client and we both discussed the exercise that she was doing. She did not place any objection to any aspects of the video or the fact that there was physical contact.
“Right from the beginning, I had told her about physical contact on a particular part of her body and she said that she understood and therefore, consented.”
This story was first published on asiaone.com.