News

Sex abuse victim called a liar online

SPEAKING to police about her sexual abuse at the hands of her massage therapist was the scariest experience of a 28-year-old Tinana mother's life.

The following two years of her life have been left in limbo while the case progressed through the court system.

The woman, who has not been named for legal reasons, was left wondering when her attacker would face the court system and even if the result would be in her favour.

"Police told me I might not get a result because it was my word against his," she said.

After two years of torment and two false starts at trial, Pacific Haven masseuse Anthony Pittorino pleaded guilty to two charges of inappropriately touching the woman while she was receiving massage treatment.

Pittorino was sentenced to 12 months jail and the sentence wholly suspended.

A court heard he touched her vaginal area and breasts while giving a massage in December 2013.

But, despite the resolution, the woman's nightmare has continued.

As news spread of Pittorino's conviction on social media, people began to attack the mother-of-two.

"Someone has written on a public site that I have lied," she said.

"That's disgusting.

"I don't think people should attack victims that way."

The Chronicle saw the posts before they were deleted from the public site.

Posters not only called the woman a liar but also attacked her personally for coming forward.

The woman said she hoped her experience did not deter others victims of sexual abuse from speaking out.

"It's been really, really scary but it's been so worth it.

"If I didn't come forward he may have done the same to others."

The woman said the attack had left her unable to receive massages to treat her scoliosis, resulting in her suffering from regular migraines.

"I tried once with a lady and a friend was there and I just freaked out," she said.

She said she does not know if she will ever be able to receive a massage treatment again but hopes she does.

The woman is hoping to move on now she has closure on the case.

Topics:  abuse, court, editors picks, mother, police, sexual assault



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