Beds, Herts & Bucks

Male masseur cleared of teacher sex assault at Cheshunt hotel

Yehia Elshenawi Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Yehia Elshenawi told the court it would not be unusual to touch a customer's bottom during a massage

A male masseur has been cleared of sexual assault after a teacher alleged she was touched inappropriately.

Yehia Elshenawi was accused of molesting a 29-year-old teacher who was on a "wellbeing weekend" with colleagues at the Marriott Hotel in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire in 2017.

The 36-year-old said he had no recollection of the woman who made the allegations against him.

He was found not guilty of sexual assault by a jury at Luton Crown Court.

The trial heard massages were laid on for staff in a room at the hotel and one masseur was Mr Elshenawi, who had been hired through an agency.

Jurors were told Mr Elshenawi brought his own massage chair - which the teacher said "like something out of a sci-fi movie" with "a hole in the middle" - and clients remained fully clothed.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The court heard the massage took place at the Marriott Hotel in Cheshunt

The English teacher had claimed Mr Elshenawi took her arm and put it behind her back before putting his hand up her jumper and over her breast.

He then began to massage her back and "grabbed and groped" her bottom before touching her crotch, she told the court.

Defending, Joanna Staples asked the masseur if he had moved the woman's arms in turn behind her back to grope each of her breasts.

He replied: "No."

Mr Elshenawi also denied putting his hand under her jumper.

The masseuse told the court it would not be unusual to touch a customer's bottom or inner thigh as part of a massage when applying pressure

Mr Elshenawi, of Nicoll Road in Harlesden, London, had denied one charge of sexual assault.

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