Salesman sexually assaulted teen in busy city shopping centre
A HAIR product salesman sexually assaulted a teenager while he was curling her hair in a busy Dublin shopping centre.
George Cristea (22) was showing the 18-year-old student how to style her hair when he grabbed her hand and rubbed it against his groin.
He first "manipulated" her with a "sexualised" sales technique before carrying out the assault at a stall in the Jervis Centre, Dublin District Court heard.
Judge Bryan Smyth found him guilty of sexual assault and jailed him for four months and put him on the sex offenders register for seven years.
The court heard the victim had finished her Leaving Certificate that year and that afternoon 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 said she just 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 because it was a bit inappropriate," 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.
"The blood drained out of me, I got such a fright," she said.
She left and complained to customer services "in case it happened to anybody else".
She told the court she had felt Cristea's behaviour before the assault was "a bit creepy and weird", but she had thought he was trying to get a sale.
In cross-examination, she denied that she had "taken grievance" and stormed off.
Cristea had pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the victim at Amika in the Jervis Centre on August 29, 2013. He no longer works there.
He claimed that he only flirted with the girl as part of his sales pitch and never put her hand on his body.
Cristea, of Millbrook Court, Mount Brown, said he was trying to "push the sale" when he complimented the victim and grabbed her hand in a "friendly" way.
"I kept doing my speech to get the sale, I can't explain why she got upset, but I think because I pushed the sale," he said. "I didn't touch her hand with my intimate part."
He admitted commenting on her chest. "I asked her if she is for real or if she is coming from heaven," he said.