Man jailed for 'violently beating' exotic dancer after she told him not to touch
A young man has been jailed for a "terrifying" attack on an exotic dancer at a Melbourne adult club after she rebuked him for sexually touching her.
Begonet Ayaliew, 20, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and recklessly causing injury to the woman, who he paid for a private exotic dance at the Crazy Horse cinema in Elizabeth Street in May 2018.
County Court Judge Paul Lacava today jailed the man, who has a psychiatric illness, for three years with a minimum of two years, saying he had subjected his victim to a "violent, general beating".
The incident unfolded on the evening of May 6 last year when Ayaliew, then 18, bought a ticket to the adult cinema, then paid $50 for a private exotic dance.
The victim told him he was not allowed to touch her but once she began her routine, he offered her a phone to on-sell if she let him.
Despite her repeated refusals, Ayaliew touched her over her underwear.
When she insisted the dance was finished, he took exception, repeatedly punching her face and head at least 10 times, the court was told.
He then pulled her hair towards his groin, made a crude request and placed her in a choke hold.
"She said she felt as though she was losing consciousness," Judge Lacava said.
CCTV footage showed Ayaliew running from the cinema after the violent ordeal.
His victim suffered pain in her jaw, neck, ribs and back, and swelling, bruises and scratches over her body.
Judge Lacava said Ayaliew was a tall, strong, athletic looking man and the experience must have been "terrifying" for his much smaller victim.
He said even though the assault occurred in a sexually charged environment, it did not permit her to touch her as he did.
Ayaliew has schizoaffective disorder, a psychiatric illness requiring ongoing treatment, the court was told.
A psychological assessment showed his rehabilitation prospects are poor.
He was raised in Ethiopia and came to Australia, aged 11, but left school due to mental health issues.
He had taken cannabis on the day of the incident.
The judge said he needed to balance Ayaliew's youth and rehabilitation prospects with the need to protect the community.
Although he was sentenced as a young offender, Ayaliew will remain on the sex offender's register for life.
Ayaliew contested other charges relating to the same incident at trial, but was acquitted, with the judge saying the prosecution case was complicated by laying too many charges.
His sentence takes into account the almost 18 months he has served in pre-sentence custody.