A Westfield Figtree fruit retailer allegedly sexually assaulted a teenage boy in a public toilet at the shopping complex, a jury has heard.
Peter Paradisis is accused of molesting the 15-year-old boy after repeatedly attempting to kiss him and putting his hand down the back of the teen’s pants, Wollongong District Court was told yesterday.
Paradisis has pleaded not guilty to aggravated sexual intercourse without consent and having sex with a person aged under 16.
During opening submissions at the 42-year-old’s trial yesterday, Crown prosecutor Nick Borosh told the jury Paradisis had allegedly pushed his way into the boy’s toilet cubicle on May 19 last year and started saying ‘‘come on, come on’’, despite the teen’s resistance.
Mr Borosh claimed Paradisis then repeatedly tried to kiss the boy before unzipping his own pants and exposing himself, saying: ‘‘…you know you want it, you know this is going to make you happy.’’
The teen told Paradisis he ‘‘wasn’t doing it’’, telling him to ‘‘put it away’’ but the man grabbed the boy’s shoulder and sexually assaulted him, the jury was told.
After the incident, Paradisis allegedly thanked the boy, saying: ‘‘You make me so happy, you’re an amazing person.’’
The teen immediately told a friend what had happened before the centre’s security staff and police were contacted.
The jury was yesterday shown a May, 2011, DVD where the teen told police he had felt physically sick after the alleged assault.
‘‘I was shaking… I couldn’t breathe very well, I felt like I was going to vomit,’’ he said.
The teen also told police Paradisis had been texting and phoning him a few days before the incident, asking if the teen had a girlfriend and calling him ‘‘the special one’’ before Paradisis allegedly revealed to the boy that he was homosexual.
Paradisis later allegedly asked the teen if he wanted to ‘‘experiment’’, at which point the boy said he started ‘‘freaking out’’ and said yes, conceding yesterday he wasn’t in the ‘‘right mind’’ at the time to know what he was saying but knew the conversation had moved to ‘‘another level’’.
He told police he had later said to Paradisis that he ‘‘couldn’t do this’’ and had also resisted during the alleged assault. The teen also told detectives Paradisis had asked him if he was going out that weekend, to which he claimed he had replied: ‘‘No, I’m only 15.’’
The teen denied a suggestion by defence barrister Richard Jankowski that he had ‘‘encouraged’’ Paradisis but admitted he had not discouraged him, stating he was ‘‘being neutral’’.
During Mr Jankowski’s cross-examination, the teen admitted he could have switched his phone off but questioned how it would have stopped Paradisis from calling him back. He conceded he had arranged to meet Paradisis shortly before the alleged offence, telling the jury he had planned to tell Paradisis to leave him alone.
He said he had become very anxious when Paradisis allegedly asked him to ‘‘do it one time’’ before grabbing his arm and gesturing towards the toilets. The boy admitted to following Paradisis into the toilet, conceding CCTV footage did not depict Paradisis pulling him or forcing him into the toilets.
The trial continues today.
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