State Democrats hit the airwaves Wednesday with an attack ad accusing Brian Kemp, the GOP candidate for governor, of failing to act against a state licensee who admitted assaulting a woman during a massage.
The 30-second ad is funded by the Democratic Party of Georgia and authorized by Stacey Abrams, Kemp’s rival in the November general election.
It hits the same theme as an ad put out by an outside group that backed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Republican primary, which Kemp won easily in a bitter runoff.
The narrator of the new ad says the abuser pleaded guilty to assault and had done this type of thing before.
“Yet Brian Kemp’s office, which is responsible for overseeing licensing of Georgia massage therapists, renewed the abuser’s license,” he said. “… If he isn’t protecting the victims, just who is Brian Kemp protecting?”
The state Board of Massage Therapy had at least four complaints about therapists at Massage Envy clinics groping women during massages. The board has not sanctioned any of the accused therapists, nor taken any of their licenses.
One of the clinics’ therapists pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, stemming from a 2012 sexual assault. His state license has since lapsed.
Kemp’s campaign has called these attacks a distraction.
Kemp has said that his office’s role is largely administrative and that only members of the state licensing board appointed by the governor have the authority to suspend or revoke licenses or conduct investigations.
The therapists targeted with the complaints were banned from employment at any of the franchise’s locations, Massage Envy said in a recent statement.
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