An Adelaide massage therapist accused of sexually assaulting two female clients indecently recorded up to 200 other women at a beachside clinic, a court has heard.
- The 35-year-old was charged with sexually assaulting two clients at his massage clinic
- Police say they took statements from 13 other women and found more than 700 images on her phone
- He was denied bail on house arrest
The 35-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in Port Adelaide Magistrates’ Court charged with seven sexual offenses against two alleged victims at the clinic in Adelaide’s western suburbs.
He today applied for bail on house arrest on the grounds that he was not a risk to the community and would not flee the country.
But prosecutors opposed bail, saying the “number” of potential victims was large and that police had taken statements from 13 other women.
Magistrate Paul Foley heard that 10 of those victims had filed complaints of indecent assault and three of them would be coupled with a charge of indecent filming.
The court heard there were three other victims of indecent filming.
Prosecutors told court police they identified 721 indecent images on the man’s phone of between 150 and 200 women – many of whom were face down on the massage table in various stages of undressing.
“The infringement appears to be extremely widespread and obviously extremely serious,” Patent Attorney Nicholas Fatchen said.
Marie Shaw QC, representing the man, argued most of the allegations against her client related to indecent filming – a charge considered a less serious criminal offence.
She said he had the presumption in favor of bail, could be tracked electronically, could work from home selling solar parts and was not at risk of absconding.
House arrest bond denied
“He’s a 35-year-old man with no previous convictions…he’s never been in jail before,” Ms Shaw said.
“There’s no reason to suggest he’s doing it again and there’s no reason to suggest he’s a flight risk.”
Ms Shaw added that it would take three years before the case is finalized at trial.
But the prosecutor said the charges were serious, as the man faced three charges of rape, which would result in a prison sentence if found guilty.
He said the prosecution had a strong case against the man and feared he fled to his home country as he was not an Australian citizen.
“He has a very strong incentive to flee,” he told the court.
He also said that if the man received a “faint” from his house arrest, he could meet potential victims, given their number.
“There is a significant risk that he will encounter various victims. I’m not saying he would seek them out, but the safety and protection of victims is paramount,” he said.
Magistrate Foley refused bail for the man’s house arrest, saying the charges were too serious.