Ella Janneh: Woman who said she was raped by therapist Michael Lousada is awarded over £200,000 in damages

A woman who said she was raped by a therapist who claimed his penis was "like a laser beam" has been awarded more than £200,000 in damages.

Ella Janneh, 37, brought a civil claim against Michael Lousada over a therapy session allegedly involving "penetration" at his clinic in Belsize Park in north London in August 2016.

She first visited him in 2011 and again in 2012 after suffering panic symptoms during consensual sex, which she attributed to being abused as a child.

Her barrister Nina Ross said she returned in 2016 for a "body work" session costing £750 which she believed was similar to a physiotherapy session, coupled with talking therapy.

While giving evidence, Ms Janneh said she "never, ever, ever would have asked him (Mr Lousada) to penetrate me" during the session.

In court documents, she said Mr Lousada, who has appeared on ITV's This Morning, told her "his penis was 'like a laser beam' and that it could 'burn up trauma'".

She suffered a panic attack, she claimed, and was "incapable of providing valid and informed consent" as a result.

In his evidence, Mr Lousada admitted penetration but claimed he repeatedly received "clear verbal consent" for his actions.

He also acknowledged referring to his penis as a laser, claiming that Ms Janneh "reported feeling like dark energy was being released".

The penile penetration lasted about 10 minutes and he did not use a condom, the court was told.

However, Mr Lousada said Ms Janneh appeared "lucid" throughout and repeatedly gave consent.

His barrister, David Boyle, told the court that while Mr Lousada's activities "may not align with societal norms" his work was a "legitimate activity" and included a "range of activities" including workshops, talking therapy and massages, and he had engaged in penile penetration with "approximately 30 to 40 clients".

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But the judge said he had "no doubt" Ms Janneh suffered a "full-blown dissociative panic attack" and that she "entirely lacked capacity" to consent to what happened.

He added that while her symptoms "would have been obvious", Mr Lousada "chose to ignore them".

That decision was "motivated by the defendant's confidence in his own ability to heal women", the judge said.

He continued: "I am sure that as a result of the defendant having instructed the claimant to regress into her childhood persona as an abused child, and thereafter touching her in the manner in which he did during the course of the third session, caused the claimant to become dissociative.

"Such that when the defendant suggested that he would use his penis to absorb the trauma, the defendant not having asked for consent to penetrate her with his fingers, the claimant lacked capacity to consent to being penetrated with his penis.

"Thus, the claimant has established her primary ground of trespass to the person, namely battery."

Ms Janneh should be paid at least £217,000 in damages, the judge ruled.

She began her civil claim against Mr Lousada for personal injury and negligence after the Crown Prosecution Service declined to pursue criminal charges in 2018.

Criminal and civil cases require different standards of proof: criminal prosecutions much reach "beyond reasonable doubt", while civil cases can be ruled upon on the "balance of probabilities".