Accused denies hotel sex assault

A SHIRTLESS man skipped around outside Launceston’s Hotel New York after he proclaimed ‘‘let’s dance’’ and threw punches at the male supporters of a female patron he had sexually assaulted, a court has heard.

The complainant told jurors in the Supreme Court in Launceston on Monday she had been fending off unwanted bum-grabbing and dance moves from the man she now knew as Tristan Andrew Tuthill, throughout her visit to the nightclub.

Crown prosecutor Virginia Jones asked the woman, 21, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, what else happened in the hotel.

The complainant said the unshaven, T-shirt, shorts and thongs-wearing accused also pulled at her shorts three times, one time exposing her underwear, and she swore at him but he laughed her off.

The woman said when she confronted the man he started to rub her genitalia outside her clothing in ‘‘very quick touches’’ and she told him, ‘‘don’t touch me or I will kick your head in’’.

After she resumed dancing, the complainant said she almost immediately felt the man’s finger or fingers slide up the back of her shorts and into her genitalia.

She said she spun around and elbowed and punched the man to get rid of him.

The woman said the man apologised ‘‘in a very sarcastic way’’ near the nightclub entrance and she later encountered him on the street, where he took off his top and started a fight with her male friends who had heard about what happened.

Defence counsel Fran McCracken suggested to the complainant that no one touched her in such a way, but the woman said it did happen and it hurt.

Tuthill, 29, pleaded not guilty on Monday to indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault, alleged to have occurred overnight between January 17 and 18, 2014.

The trial, before Justice Stephen Estcourt, continues.

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