Annandale man accused of sexual assault at massage parlour

An Annandale man accused of sexually assaulting a woman working at a massage parlour in Sydney’s inner west has faced trial, in a case the defence says will hinge on the reliability of the complainant.

Matthew Cooper, 35, pleaded not guilty in Downing Centre District Court on Tuesday to two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and one of indecent assault relating to the alleged incident at Camperdown in June 2018.

Matthew Cooper has been accused of indecent and sexual assault at a massage parlour.Credit:Steven Siewert

The court heard the woman, aged 26, was an employee of an erotic massage parlour when Cooper attended about 10pm on June 24 and selected the woman to perform an erotic massage on him.

In an opening statement, prosecutor Daniel Noll said Cooper paid for a 30-minute erotic massage including a naked massage, body slide and “happy ending”.

Noll alleged that Cooper indecently touched the woman and engaged in sexual intercourse, including digitally penetrating and performing oral sex on her during the session, without her consent and knowing she was not consenting.

The prosecutor told the jury the laws of consent in NSW apply to all places, including venues offering sexual services, and the complainant had “explicitly told” the accused not to touch her in a particular place multiple times, but that he continued to do so.

He also told the jury the erotic massage parlour, where the incident is alleged to have taken place, did not offer “full service” – referring to sexual intercourse and oral sex – at the time, nor did the woman consent to any “extras” beyond the service Cooper paid for.

Cooper, appearing in a black suit, white button-down shirt and blue tie, was represented by barrister Todd Pickering.

Pickering said the “reliability of the complainant” would be a fundamental element in the case.

He told the court that his client attended the massage parlour and paid for a service, but had “no interest in extras”, and that the topic was raised by the complainant.

Pickering said alleged acts including indecent touching, digital penetration and cunnilingus “did not happen,” but that it was possible the complainant’s genitalia could have “brushed” against Cooper’s nose or lips, causing “inadvertent contact”.

The jury is expected to hear from three witnesses, including the complainant and two civilian witnesses, via video link.

The trial, expected to take five to seven days, will resume on Wednesday.

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