Reza Moemen leaving the Caloundra Magistrates Court.
Reza Moemen leaving the Caloundra Magistrates Court. Matty Holdsworth

Iranian bum groper's Anzac Day betrayal

AN IRANIAN man who swam underwater to touch women's buttocks at Kings Beach on Anzac Day will not be allowed to leave the country until his victims are compensated.

Reza Moemen, 59, was visiting the country for the first time and had planned to fly home on Saturday.

Instead, he this morning pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault in Caloundra Magistrates Court.

An interpreter was employed by the courts to relay with Moemen, who appeared remorseful when the charges were read.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Vicki Kennedy Grills told the court the three victims were aged between 25 and 43.

"On the third assault, the victim said Moemen dove underwater at her. She thought it was strange. Then he grabbed her buttocks while his head was in her groin region," the court heard.

"The victim said she immediately felt uncomfortable."

The other two victims said Moemen also grabbed their buttocks and squeezed for several seconds. All victims said they felt immediate discomfort.

Sgt Grills said Moemen "abused Australia's trust" and argued that a term of actual imprisonment was appropriate.

Moemen's defence lawyer Clem van der Weegen told the court his client felt he was "on another planet" that day.

"He instructs me he does not wish to disrespect this country and that it will never happen again," he said.

"Many men make inappropriate actions towards women that go un-reported.

"Iran is an Islamic republic and an oppressed society. Women there must wear clothes to their ankles.

"For him, it is a cultural eye opener. He must have thought he was on another planet and realises it is not an invitation to take liberty of their bodies."

Magistrate John Parker acknowledged Moemen's tears as a sign of remorse and accepted his apology before imposing a six-month term of imprisonment, suspended for two years.

"It was a betrayal of trust of this country who gave you the chance to visit," Magistrate Parker said.

Moemen will be forced to pay $1000 to each victim immediately and will not get his passport returned until he has done so.



FIRST LOOK: Store renovation celebrates with 20% off sale

premium_icon FIRST LOOK: Store renovation celebrates with 20% off sale

A BUNDABERG store has had a mini-makeover and is celebrating with a grand opening...

Watch: Special Bundy tradition rings in turtle season

premium_icon Watch: Special Bundy tradition rings in turtle season

THE BELLS at Christ Church rung today to symbolise one of Bundaberg’s favourite...

Rescue in Pancake Creek

premium_icon Rescue in Pancake Creek

Round Hill VMR teamed up with paramedics to rescue a patient