Tourist accuses chiro of repeat rapes
A Sydney chiropractor denies repeatedly raping and sexually touching a Japanese patient with lower back and groin pain.
Riaz Behi, 45, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault and eight counts of aggravated sexual touching of the woman in the treatment rooms of The Back Guys practice in Sydney's CBD.
Over the course of 17 appointments in early 2019, the practitioner allegedly progressed from massaging the woman's buttocks to brushing his hands by her genitals and eventually to an instance of oral sex, a NSW District Court jury was told on Thursday.
Giving evidence through a Japanese interpreter, the 32-year-old said Behi pulled her underpants down during the first consultation, exposing her buttocks completely.
That had "never happened" in any massage treatment in Japan, she said.
She is expected to tell the jury on Friday that she was directed to strip down to her underwear in each consultation, and sometimes told to remove her underpants.
The first act of penetration, during the eighth appointment, occurred after the patient briefly fell asleep on the table while Behi was working on her back, the jury is expected to hear.
"She will tell you, I expect, she was startled, she moved and he then removed his finger," prosecutor Roger Kimbell said, outlining the Crown's case on Thursday.
"She didn't say anything and I expect she'll tell you why."
On her next appointment, she was again directed to undress, had her buttocks massaged, felt Behi's hands again close to her anus and vagina, the jury is expected to hear.
When Behi inserted the tip of his thumb or finger into her anus, she felt pain, "froze" and felt like she couldn't speak.
Behi asked her "how do you feel?", prompting the woman to shake her head and say "no".
"At some point, the accused said 'do you want me to stop' and she said 'yes, yes, yes'," Mr Kimbell said.
Behi stopped and the woman told him over Google Translate that she wanted a regular massage and for him to never to do "that" again, the prosecutor said.
The woman is expected to say the appointments were part of a $1200 package, paid by a friend who'd dismissed her earlier concerns about Behi's techniques.
"(The friend) told her to trust the doctor because he had good online reviews," Mr Kimbell said.
She kept going back as the massages in other areas had reduced the lower back pain she was suffering, the jury was told.
"We will be suggesting to you that that is just absolute nonsense," defence barrister William Brewer said in his opening address.
"No one in the circumstances outlined by the Crown would dare be putting up with that kind of treatment."
Mr Brewer said a "very live issue" in the trial would be why the woman kept returning for treatment if such "horrendous things" were happening.
Behi was a man of good character who'd not had one personal or professional complaint against him in his 18 years of practising as a chiropractor, his barrister said.
Another question for the jury will be whether there was an opportunity for the alleged assaults to occur in a busy practice where "the door was frequently being opened and shut," Mr Brewer said.
Both parties agree none of the touching alleged by the woman constitutes appropriate chiropractic treatment.
The jury of five women and seven men heard the patient arrived in Australia in late 2018 on a working holiday visa.
The trial, before Judge Donna Woodburne, continues.
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