‘Predatory’ Qld masseur guilty of rape

A 71-year-old masseur who sexually assaulted 25 women over more than a decade acted in a “calculated and predatory way” preying on clients who went to him for therapeutic massages.

May 04, 2021, updated May 04, 2021

Charles William Davidson was found guilty on Tuesday of seven counts of rape and 30 of sexual assault involving 15 women, and three counts of indecent treatment of a 15-year-old girl.

He is already in jail after being found guilty more than three years ago of sexually assaulting 10 women and raping one in 2014 and 2015.

The second trial in the Brisbane District Court began with a single complaint to police some six years ago that led to a police investigation into Davidson’s offending dating as far back as 2002.

“The offending by Davidson that has been prosecuted throughout the last two trials can only be described as calculated and predatory targeting these ladies when they were in a most vulnerable situation,” Detective Senior Constable Lachlan McGraa told reporters outside court.

Davidson pleaded not guilty to a total of 44 charges at the start of the trial, but didn’t give evidence or call any witnesses.

Two sexual assault counts were dropped during the trial, while the jury was unable to reach a verdict on another two.

Davidson offered remedial massages, first at his house and eventually in physiotherapy, chiropractic and beauty clinics around Brisbane and Hervey Bay.

It was while offering the massage services he committed the offences which included tweaking and twisting of nipples, inappropriate touching of groin areas, as well as digital penetration.

The jury heard Davidson would often steer conversation toward sexual subjects, including telling a client his favourite style of massage was “erotic” or talking about their breasts.

“These all occurred under the guise that he was performing a legitimate massage upon them,” prosecutor Judy Geary told the trial.

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“We are not talking about some sexual massage place.”

Davidson was sentenced in the same court in March 2018 to serve at least two-and-a-half years in jail after being found guilty of 18 counts of sexual assault and one rape charge.

He faced a second trial after police found more victims.

McGraa said people should feel safe and be free from mistreatment when seeking remedial and therapeutic health services.

“Today’s result should be a very resounding message to those members of the industry that abuse their position of trust, that this sort or behaviour will never be tolerated and you will be held to account for your actions,” he added.

Judge Julie Dick is expected to sentence Davidson on May 13.

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