Massage assault case: 'Brazen what's gone on'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 10:34 12/12/2012

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Masseur charged after mall massage

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The victim of an alleged indecent assault during a massage at a Christchurch shopping mall had bought a voucher for the appointment on the internet.

Detective Sergeant Ross Tarawhiti said it was a timely warning for the public leading up to Christmas to be wary when buying such services online.

"People have got to be cautious about going to places and asking the qualifications of people," he said.

Police charged a 58-year-old masseur with indecently assaulting the woman during a massage last Friday.

The man appeared in the Christchurch District Court on Monday. He was remanded on bail without plea to reappear on January 7.

Detective Damon Wells said the alleged incident took place while the 22-year-old woman was receiving a massage in a private room at the store about 7.30pm.

He said she had "done the right thing" by reporting it to police.

"She's gone in for a therapeutic Chinese-style massage and ended up being sexually assaulted," he said of the alleged incident.

"It's pretty brazen what's gone on."

Wells said the woman was shaken by what happened and had left the city as a result.

The man was arrested on Sunday, he said.

Wells said the man had worked at the store for "a short period of time".

There had been no other complaints laid with police relating to the store where he worked.

Wells said that if anyone had any concerns about inappropriate treatment they had received during a massage at a mall they should contact him on 363 7859.

A mall spokeswoman said management and the store owner were aware of the charges.

She said the mall would follow police direction on appropriate action to take and "respond accordingly".

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- The Press

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