A male salon worker has gone on trial accused of sexually abusing ten women during Brazilian hair removal treatments in Perth.
Don Chaminda Prabath Subasinghe, 43, who worked at the Canning Vale Cut ’N Curl salon where his wife cut hair, is fighting the allegations with his defence lawyer Tom Percy today saying the allegations were untrue.
Prosecutor Gary Huggins said that the accused told the women he rubbed their genital areas where he was removing hair with intense pulse light treatment because it helped with the pain.
But it is alleged he then began rubbing beyond the areas he was treating, committing sexual penetration without consent.
Mr Huggins said the accused man’s actions had been deliberate and prolonged, in some instances resulting in an orgasm in the alleged victims.
He said that by law a lack of struggle from the alleged victims could not be viewed as giving the accused man consent.
Mr Huggins said that while some women had initially been uncomfortable when they found out their beautician would be a male, they had gone ahead with the treatment expecting that Mr Subasinghe would be professional.
The court heard that some of the women had gone back after the alleged sexual abuse to continue the hair removal.
Mr Percy told the jury it was "interesting" that it was only after one of the women complained to police, sparking enquiries with other clients, that the other nine had made allegations.
He said it was unknown whether the alleged victims were lying out of embarrassment or malice, or simply mistaken but the allegations would be shown as false.
Mr Percy said his client’s actions were innocent and that he had "express and implied" consent to do what he was doing as part of the procedure he was paid for, similar to a gynaecologist.
Mr Huggins said it was open to the jury to find after hearing the evidence that Mr Subasinghe had a tendency or inclination to touch his customers in a sexual way during the treatment.
But Mr Percy submitted any suggestion the accused man’s actions were erotic was absurd and that Mr Subasinghe’s wife was sometimes in the next room blow drying customers’ hair.
The jury heard that salon had more than 50 female clients.
The trial continues.