A masseur has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting a woman as she lay on his massage table.
David Facchini is alleged to have rubbed the woman’s breasts before removing her knickers and throwing them across the room.
The woman ‘made her excuses and left’ and complained to police a few months later, a jury at Teesside Crown Court heard.
Facchini admits giving the massage, but denies anything improper took place.
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield said the woman had had massages in the past.
“She knew she was due to take part in a strenuous athletic event,” added Mr Hadfield.
“With that in mind she booked a massage for afterwards, you might think someone who had done such an event might need a massage to loosen the muscles.
“Mr Facchini, a professional masseur, was working from a converted room in his house in Hartlepool at the time.
“When the woman arrived, she lay on the table front down with just her knickers on and a towel covering her top half.
“As the massage began, she became uncomfortable when Facchini reached her lower back because he moved her knickers aside which she thought he had no need to do.
“When she turned on her front, he began to massage her stomach, then her breasts with his hands directly on her skin using a figure of eight motion.”
The court heard Facchini removed the woman’s knickers, threw them across the room, before leaving the room, telling her she would be finished shortly.
“The woman wanted to leave but could not find her knickers,” said Mr Hadfield.
“She shouted to Facchini, who told her where he had thrown the knickers.
“The woman got dressed as quickly as she could, made her excuses and left.
“She cried to herself on the way home.”
The jury heard the woman later confided in friends, but did not report the incident to the police until several months later.
“Experience of the court is that victims of sexual assault may come forward at the time, within weeks or months, or even years later,” said Mr Hadfield.
“Facchini was interviewed by police.
“He said he could recall doing the massage, but not precisely when.
“The woman had had previous sports massages done by him, and he denied anything improper had taken place the last time.
“There had been no contact with the victim since, and he couldn’t think of any reason why she should make the allegation.”
Facchini, 47, of Windermere Road, Hartlepool, denies sexual assault.
The case continues.