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Tampa trainer charged with sexual assault of client

TAMPA — The personal trainer came highly recommended, so she wrote a $1,500 check.

For the first few sessions at Club Tone on Linebaugh Avenue, the woman worked with a female trainer. Then on Monday, the recommended trainer who called himself "Jeimy" said he'd be working with her.

He told her she'd be lifting weights, the woman told the St. Petersburg Times Friday. But as he held her waist to watch her form, he pulled her way too close, she said.

She was uncomfortable and confused. He called her dirty for suggesting he was aroused, she recalled.

The woman, whose name is being withheld by the Times because of the nature of the alleged crime, said the trainer then fondled her as she worked out on a mat.

First he massaged her thigh, then he worked up her leg. She said she was shocked when he sexually assaulted her through her capri workout pants with his fingers.

She immediately got up.

"Believe it or not, he said I had a dirty mind again," she said.

Deputies arrested the trainer — James Elbert Williams, 39 — on Friday at his home at 10939 Cory Lake Drive in Tampa.

Williams faces one count of sexual battery for the alleged incident Monday, deputies say. He was booked into the Orient Road Jail.

Records show that in 2005, Williams was charged with sexual battery with slight force. He had been the owner of Get Fit Fitness at the time, jail records state.

He also has been charged previously with larceny and intimidating a witness. But he was not convicted of any of those charges.

The only crime for which he has been convicted in Florida is habitually driving without a license, state records show.

After the alleged assault Monday, the woman said Williams told her she should date him. He said he was rich and went to church, she recalled.

"I was shaking my head, like 'no way, uh-uh,' " she said. "Then he got perturbed and said 'I'm done.' "

After talking to a friend, the woman decided to call police.

Deputies are asking anyone who believes they have been a victim of Williams, who rented space at the gym at 5039 W Linebaugh Ave., to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

Times staff writer Robbyn Mitchell and news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Tampa trainer charged with sexual assault of client 07/01/11 [Last modified: Friday, July 1, 2011 10:56pm]
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