HomeWorld NewsChun Hung Wong: Former Geraldton massage therapist found guilty of indecent assault
Chun Hung Wong: Former Geraldton massage therapist found guilty of indecent assault
September 14, 2023
A former Geraldton massage therapist has been found guilty of inappropriately touching female clients and other lewd behaviour during sessions.
The trial of Chun Hung Wong resumed in Joondalup Magistrates Court on Thursday, after being partly heard in Geraldton in March last year.
He was accused of a range of inappropriate conduct during massage sessions with nine female clients, some of whom were pregnant, between 2014 and 2021 at the now-closed Marine Terrace clinic, Brilliant Massage.
Wong had pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of unlawful and indecent assault.
And on Thursday, Magistrate Evan Shackleton found Wong guilty of four charges, clearing him of the other six.
He was found guilty of masturbating while massaging a client in 2016.
In giving evidence in Geraldton, the female victim said Wong massaged her using only one hand and that she believed she heard noises that sounded like masturbation.
She added that after the massage she noticed a “sticky-like” substance on the side of the table.
Another victim told a similar story of Wong’s “laboured breathing” during a massage and that he was only massaging her with one hand.
She said he then started “caressing” her bottom and was touching close to her genitals. She said that at one point she heard what she thought was masturbating.
An 18-year-old woman said Wong had commented on the way she smelled during a 2016 session and that she felt what she thought was the masseur’s penis on her arm.
A fourth victim, who was pregnant at the time of her session, said Wong touched her inappropriately, clapped her buttocks together, and sat on top of her.
The magistrate found Wong guilty in each of these incidents.
Under cross-examination by the prosecution in July, Wong denied accusations he had masturbated or had an erection during some massage sessions. He said there could be “rhythm changes” during a massage, but never because he was touching himself.
When asked if he agreed that he needed consent if massaging close to sensitive areas, Wong said: “Yes, I always ask for consent, and for them to let me know if it needs changing.”
He said even if massaging the buttocks, his hands would not be close to a woman’s genital area.
When asked why he needed to work on an area covered by underwear, Wong said: “I asked for permission to work on that area.”
Wong said sometimes he asked clients to remove their underwear.
“It’s easier because it’s difficult when people wear tights or bicycle shorts and their underwear is tight — but it’s an unusual case and I usually write it down on my notes,” he said.
Some of the complainants testified about the “distinct smell of semen” and sounds that pointed to masturbation, but Wong argued the smell could have been his bad breath and put any sounds down to using lubricated massage oil.
In closing remarks, the police prosecutor said Wong’s evidence changed as he went along and his explanations did not make sense.
She said the complainants’ evidence could be accepted as honest and reliable as they used different language to describe similar things, didn’t know each other and testified about common occurrences, including one-handed massages, masturbation and massaging of the inner thigh.
The prosecutor said based on all the evidence it could be found that Wong preyed on these women for his own sexual gratification.
In her closing submission, Wong’s defence lawyer, Ashleigh Antoine, said her client made it clear all massages were done with consent or that he believed he had the women’s permission.
She said just because there was an absence of paperwork confirming consent, it didn’t mean Wong didn’t get it.
Ms Antione said Wong maintained the massages were only done for a “legitimate therapeutic purpose”, arguing it was an “industry you will keep learning, there is no one way to massage”.
Wong will be sentenced on December 22 at Joondalup Magistrates Court.
His bail was renewed but he is prohibited from engaging in professional remedial or massage practices.