11 July 2023

Masseur accused of sexually assaulting client after other staff had left clinic

| Albert McKnight
man leaving court

The 40-year-old masseur Bochao Wang was released on bail on Monday. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to an alleged sexual assault.

A masseur has been accused of sexually assaulting a female client at his Belconnen clinic after the other staff members had left for the day.

Bochao Wang was charged over the allegations in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday (10 July), but he was told while he would be granted bail, he cannot continue to work as a masseur.

The complainant had arrived at Spa Massage in Belconnen’s Westfield Shopping Centre late on Saturday afternoon (8 July), court documents say.

She had gotten prepared and lay on a massage table in a room before Mr Wang allegedly entered and started the massage.

Meanwhile, she heard several people walk out of the business, then heard the roller door at the front of the premises come down and believed she was alone, allegedly with Mr Wang.

It is alleged Mr Wang pulled down her underwear and then digitally raped her.

The complainant claimed she felt scared and froze as she thought they were alone and she didn’t know what to do.

She alleged Mr Wang told her, “I don’t want you to leave, your body is so beautiful”, and then kissed her.

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She told him she wanted to go, but after she got dressed, he allegedly asked her for her name and phone number. Not knowing what to do, she told him, then he called her straight away so she would have his number too.

He opened the roller door so she could leave. She then called her partner and told him about the alleged assault and he urged her to go to the police.

Mr Wang was arrested at his home in Palmerston the next night. When speaking to police, he admitted being the person who massaged the complainant the afternoon before, but denied all allegations of sexual assault and was adamant it had been a normal massage and he had done nothing wrong.

He was charged with two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and a single count of committing an act of indecency without consent in the Magistrates Court on Monday.

While the defence and prosecution agreed he should be granted bail, the prosecutor wanted to impose a condition requiring him to stop working at the massage parlour, which the 40-year-old fought against.

His lawyer, Legal Aid’s Brandon Bodel, said he had lived in Australia for 20 years, but had family who relied on him overseas. He has two children in China and earns money then sends it to his wife.

Mr Bodel said his client wanted to continue to support them and was willing to work in administration at the massage parlour.

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Magistrate Ian Temby said the matter involved the very serious allegations that Mr Wang had taken advantage of a client at the business.

“His employment puts him in a position of trust in relation to people who are in a vulnerable position,” he said.

He was granted bail on conditions including that he not work as a masseur, not be at Spa Massage unless another staff member was present, not contact the complainant and not go near an international point of departure. He must also surrender his passport.

The matter was adjourned to 18 July, no pleas were entered.

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