Perth Massage Therapist Found Guilty On Allegations Of Sexual Abuse

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By Hannah Puyat | October 10, 2013 5:56 PM EST

Zoran Zivanovic, the 56-year-old massage therapist accused of inappropriately touching his clients, is now facing life behind bars. According to reports, seven women filed cases against the masseur on the bases that Mr Zivanovic fondled their breasts--an act that was uncalled for in the remedial massage therapies that he had been performing on them.

Between the months of June 2011 up to November 2012, women availed of Mr Zivanovic's services for various injuries. In no way was he supposed to touch other parts of their bodies except for those specified with injury. Belinda Londsdale, Mr Zivanovic's lawyer, told the court that while her client admitted to touching the women near their breast and genital area, he did not violate them. She further added that this type of touching was something that was fundamental to his therapy, as he put it. 

Mr Zivanovic has been described as enthusiastic about his work and a consummate and passionate professional. Operating on a mobile therapy set up, most, if not all, of the assaults occurred in the women's own homes. During the trials, one woman is reported to have told the court that while she was uncomfortable during the treatment, she was assured that it was all part of the treatment and was meant to heal her. Prosecutor Alan Dungey told the jury to see for themselves how the man had an inclination for touching women which he disguised under the pretense of a simple, healing massage.

The jury took a total of four hours before reaching a guilty verdict on 11 counts of sexual abuse while two charges were acquitted. The first woman to make her case against Mr Zivanovic cried during the recitation of the guilty verdict, no doubt feeling relief; it was her actions that turned the police on to the massage therapist's trail. Presiding Judge Stephen Scott said that jail time seemed inevitable for the massage therapist, even though at the beginning of the trials the masseur was adamant in categorically denying all accounts of inappropriate behavior. The judge also ordered him to be under custody until his sentence hearing on December of 2013.

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