Salesman took teen's hand and rubbed it on his groin
Published 26/06/2015 | 10:35
A HAIR-product salesman sexually assaulted a teenage customer while demonstrating curling tongs on her in the middle of a busy Dublin shopping centre.
George Cristea (22) was showing the then-18-year-old student how to style her hair when he grabbed her hand and rubbed it against his groin, Dublin District Court heard.
He first "manipulated" her with a "sexualised" sales technique before carrying out the assault in the incident at a stall in the Jervis Centre.
Cristea denied the offence, claiming that he only flirted with the girl as part of his sales pitch. He insisted he never put her hand on his body.
Finding him guilty, Judge Bryan Smyth jailed him for four months and put him on the sex offenders register for seven years.
Cristea, of Millbrook Court, Mount Brown, had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the victim at Amika, the Jervis Centre, on August 29, 2013.
He no longer works there.
The court heard the victim had finished her Leaving Certificate that year and was looking for things for her Debs when she stopped at the stall.
She sat in front of a mirror as Cristea curled her hair. He told her she had a "lovely smile", and that he was jealous of her boyfriend.
She felt his behaviour was "a bit creepy and weird" but thought he was "being charming so I would buy the curler".
He took her hand several times and asked how old she was. He also asked if her "boobs were real".
"I got a bit of a shock," she said. "As a reaction I said yeah. That was when I noticed that he had taken my hand and was rubbing it against his groin area. He was moving my hand back and forth and I could feel under his trousers that he did have an erection."
She left and went to customer service to make a complaint.
She denied that she had "taken grievance" to the sales pitch and stormed off.
Cristea said he was trying to "push the sale" when he complimented the victim and grabbed her hand in a "friendly" way.
"I can't explain why she got upset, but I think because I pushed the sale," he said.