Bouncer’s sex assault appeal rejected
A sleazy security guard has lost his bid to have his prison sentence slashed for sexual assaulting a woman as she left the Carlton Club.
Abbas Rezai was sentenced to nine months prison in December last year after a jury found him guilting of preying on his victim as she left the popular city club in 2017.
The Court of Appeal rejected the 25-year-old's appeal, ruling his sentence was in fact "lenient".
The court heard Rezai had loitered in a stairwell as the 30-year-old victim walked past before putting his hand up her dress and sexually assaulting her.
The club bouncer then beckoned the terrified woman into a nearby room saying: "Come here and have some fun with me".
The incident was captured on club CCTV.
Rezai maintained his innocence throughout the trial and had argued the sentencing judge had erred by accepting the woman's story over his own.
Rezai testified that he did not touch the woman at all, perhaps accidentally touched her clothing, but did not put his hand under her dress.
The jury rejected this claim and found him guilty.
Sentencing judge Martine Marich said Rezai had exploited his position of paid responsibility.
"She was an object for your gratification in that minute," Judge Marich said at sentencing in December.
"She did not even know that you were behind her, and was not even given the opportunity to defend herself from your urge to touch her,"
"This is the type of incident that creates fear and disgust in women that they are never safe from opportunistic sexual violation,
"It arouses disappointment and disgust in the rest of the community that no one is ever completely safe from offending such as yours," her honour said.
In her the victim impact statement, the woman said the offending was "completely out of my control".
"I will forever avoid stairwells in dark venues and find myself feeling unsafe whenever I am out or alone in public places at night," she said.
Court of Appeal justices Chris Maxwell and Terence Forrest today rejected his grounds for appeal, saying simply "there's nothing in it."
Rezai had also argued Judge Marich had no given enough weight to his difficult traumatic childhood in Afghanistan, his refugee status and the burden jail time would have on his family who were financially dependant.
Justice Maxwell and Forrest said hardship to family was as "unavoidable consequence of imprisonment".
"Giving full weight to the applicant's difficult upbringing, lack of prior convictions, prospects for rehabilitation and the difficulties he will face in custody, in our view, the sentence of nine months' imprisonment, when considered alone, is lenient," his honours said.
Rezai must complete a two-year community correction order upon his release from prison.
Originally published as Bouncer's sex assault appeal rejected
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.