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Jury hears 'cheap thrill' theory in dentist trial

Touching people is a necessary element of being a dentist, argues a Sydney practitioner accused of sexually assaulting multiple patients.

There is no doubt Bassem Fouad touched his patients, but he did not sexually assault them, the dentist's lawyer Jeffrey Clarke says.

"When you go to the dentist, people are close together," Mr Clarke told Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday.

"There is some touching."

Fouad faces nine counts of aggravated sexual touching, indecent assault under authority, and intentionally sexually touching a child.

The 55-year-old has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He is accused of frequently pressing himself against his patients when aroused, prosecutor Daniel Noll previously told the court.

Fouad would also place his dentistry tools on their breasts, the prosecutor alleges.

Mr Clarke said it was up to the jury to decide whether the touching was done for sexual gratification.

"That is a factual matter that you will decide ... whether he's touching himself as part of the cheap thrill of doing what he's doing," he said.

Fouad is accused by five women who were regular patients at two dental clinics in Mascot. The women cannot be named for legal reasons.

"It's not pain you can feel, it's just pressure," the accused allegedly said to one patient who reported feeling his crotch against her head.

Mr Noll told the jury that one woman said she felt something "round like a sausage" moving side to side against her arm.

Another patient, who was 15 at the time, said she had to slide down the dental chair to avoid Fouad, who began thrusting himself against her head.

Two reports were made to police in 2016 and 2021. Fouad denied the accusation each time.

Mr Noll told the court CCTV footage captured in 2021 showed the dentist regularly touching his groin and the breast of a patient on one occasion.

The footage also showed Fouad removing his gloves and taking his penis out of his pants. Both Mr Clarke and Mr Noll said the dentist explained to police he did so because of a medical condition.

The trial continues.