‘Bum grab in a nightclub is different’: Lawyer
A LEADING Gold Coast criminal lawyer has called out a double standard in the reporting of sexual assaults on the Gold Coast.
"It seems there are different moral standards depending upon the context," Moloney MacCallum boss, Campbell MacCallum, yesterday told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
"It's extremely common for a woman, in a bar or nightclub, to be touched on the bottom with some sort of comment made but complaints are rarely or never made because of the time and place of the incident.
"It seems to be accepted that if you're in a nightclub or bar, there is some sort of excuse or justification and unfortunately it's considered not as serious. But if you were in the line at the supermarket or out running that is considered as being much more serious."
The comments come after 24-year-old mother of two, Jesse Ratu, was allegedly groped five times on her buttocks by a stranger at weekend outside her Southport home after a morning run.
Another long-time Southport lawyer, McMillan Criminal Law principal, Michael McMillan, said 80 per cent of his practice was now people charged with sexual offending "of some description".
"There has been a huge surge in sexual misconduct but it's often in the workplace, taxis or behind closed doors," he said.
"Most of the offenders are not this brazen. In fact, there is very little offending in the daytime and the reason is because it's such a brazen act and identification is easy. The victim can often tell the height, age or physical features of the person.
"Most offenders know they're not supposed to be doing what they're doing, so they do it under the radar."
Mr McMillan said most people who groped others in public were repeat offenders with underlying mental illness.
"They are people who have got a problem. Often it is mental illness that has followed them through their lives and they have an inability to control their sexual urges.
"For a lot of them, they're like exhibitionists. It's about being seen by their victim. They don't go that far but it's the excitement that is generated in their mind when they see how the victim reacts."
Southport Police operations leader Senior Sergeant Brendan Wiblen said unprovoked assaults were a "relatively rare event".
"Be aware of your surroundings, if (you) are or approached attacked move to safe place," he said.
"If you're being followed, go into a shop and contact police immediately."
Sen-Sgt Wiblen said police had obtained "high quality CCTV" of the weekend incident involving Ms Ratu.
"At the moment we believe our most fruitful line of inquiry is local inquires," he said.
"We think he is a local person and we are hoping he is quickly identified."
The officer said police did not know what motivated the man to commit the lurid act but encouraged him to hand himself in to authorities.
"We don't know the motivations of the male but we want him to attend at the police station and explain his course of conduct," Sen-Sgt Wiblen said.
"If associates recognise him we'd also like them to contact us."
A Gold Coast police spokesman said police encouraged "anyone who is in a similar situation to report the incident to police immediately".
"Everyone has the right to feel safe as they go about their daily lives," they added through a statement.
THE SHAME FILES: LITANY OF SHOCK ATTACKS
ON Boxing Day, a 43-year-old woman said she was grabbed on the arm while jogging in broad daylight at Varsity Lakes.
The woman told police she was grabbed in a park behind Castello Circuit at 8.15am when a man tried to pull her into the bushes.
She was wearing earphones at the time and did not hear the attacker approach.
The woman did not see the man's face.
Police said, at the time, a similar incident had occurred several months earlier.
A YOUNG woman was allegedly groped on a park bench at Palm Beach.
The 24-year-old woman told police she was sitting on the bench at the northern end of Fifth Ave on November 11 about 12.30pm when she was groped.
The woman said a man aged around 50 years, with light-coloured hair, made lewd comments at her before grabbing her leg and moving his hand up her skirt.
She managed to break free and flee.
POLICE began targeting nudists on a "clothes-optional" strip of beach at Byron Bay after a spate of lurid sexual behaviour.
In the month of August, several people were sexually propositioned in the middle of the day, including a 28-year-old tourist who had to run for help after being indecently assaulted by a partially clothed man aged in his 50s.
The man was later charged.
A woman aged in her 20s was also walking through a bush track near Tyagarah Beach about 1.30pm one day in August when a 54-year-old naked man with an erection allegedly came up behind her.
He was accused of aggressively sexually propositioning her before grabbing her breasts.
A TEENAGER who groped eight women as they swam at Surfers Paradise beach was sentenced to two years' probation.
The Afghan-born 17-year-old, who cannot be identified because he committed the offences as a child, spent two hours grabbing women, aged 15-24 years, as he swam between the flags at Surfers Paradise Beach on January 16, 2016.
The Victoria-based man grabbed his victims on their bottoms, breasts and, in three cases, their vaginas.
The offending stopped when three of the victims approached a lifeguard on duty.
When questioned by the lifeguard the teen said: "If I just say sorry, can we forget all about it?"
He pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to nine charges of sexual assault and three charges of common assault.
HIGH-profile Gold Coast cosmetic surgeon Cesidio Colagrande was convicted of sexually assaulting a female patient.
He was found guilty by a Southport District Court jury of the sexual assault of a female patient in May 2015.
Colagrande was found to have pulled the
24-year-old adult entertainer toward him and asked her to have sex with him during a follow-up consultation after a breast augmentation.
He was found to have slapped her on the bottom and told her she had "blow job lips".
Colagrande pleaded not guilty to the charge of sexual assault at the start of the trial.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison, wholly suspended for 18 months.
In April, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal lifted a ban to allow him to see females - as long as he has a chaperone.
A TEEN was accused of indecently touching women while riding past on a his push bike.
The incidents were allegedly to have occurred in Southport, Mermaid Beach, Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach.
One of the incidents allegedly occurred when the boy, from Molendinar, was 16 years old.
A TAXI driver was sentenced after he admitted kissing and groping a drunk woman after she fell asleep in the back of his cab.
Lovekesh Kumar, 39, assaulted the intoxicated woman on March 23, 2014 while he was driving her from a Broadbeach nightclub to her home at Pacific Pines. The victim said she remembered the driver saying she looked good before she fell asleep in the back of the taxi.
After arriving at her address, Kumar kissed the victim for about 20 minutes then started to rub her breast.
When the woman woke up she told him to stop, paid the fare and called triple-0.
Kumar pleaded guilty and was given a
nine-month prison sentence to be served in the community through an intensive correction order.