Sex assault claim by 'unhappy customer'

·2-min read

A customer upset by a poor massage may have jumped to conclusions and made unwarranted sexual assault claims, a court has heard.

Constantin Aciobanitei, 56, has been accused of pressing his penis into a woman's arm twice while massaging her at a clinic north of Brisbane in September 2020.

The female customer was served by two women at the Morayfield business, but was surprised to hear a male voice before her treatment began, the District Court in Brisbane heard.

She was lying face-down on the massage table at the time after removing her shirt and bra, the court was told.

The jury heard the woman was paralysed by fear during the massage when she felt what she believed was an erect penis pressed against the back of her arm.

Her head was briefly rubbed before a man returned to her side and pushed his penis into her arm again, the court heard.

Before leaving the clinic the woman told female staff her massage was "not amazing to be honest", but she still paid.

Defence barrister Clare Hurley told the jury the customer had been concerned about receiving a massage from a man from the start and her mood was not improved by the treatment.

"Is it just a case of the complainant not being satisfied with the massage?" Ms Hurley told the jury.

The jury had been told Aciobanitei was learning to become a masseur and was visiting the clinic to train and work for free.

Ms Hurley said the unhappy customer may have "jumped to conclusions" after feeling an object touching her arm and looking up to see the man.

She said the masseur may have accidentally pressed against the customer's arm with his body or something in his pocket.

Ms Hurley said it may have been a jar or bottle, citing the customer's evidence in which she felt the object on her arm after hearing a rustling noise before oils were put on her back.

She said the jury must also be convinced that it was Aciobanitei who performed the massage.

Ms Hurley said the customer was lying face down during the treatment and only had a quick glance of the masseur afterwards.

"Near enough is not good enough in a criminal trial," she said.

Aciobanitei has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual assault.

The trial before Judge John Allen continues.