A FORMER south-west factory manager has appealed to the County Court after being found guilty of sexually assaulting two female colleagues and sentenced to three months in jail.
Roger Anthony Spangaro, 56, of The Vineyard, Waurn Ponds, pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecent assault. Another two counts were withdrawn by police.
Spangaro separately sexually assaulted the two women on numerous occasions when they were alone with him, each unaware the other was being assaulted until allegations were raised.
In a two-day contested hearing in Warrnambool Magistrates Court, Spangaro did not give evidence.
After finding the charges proven, magistrate Jonathan Klestadt said the women suffered greatly while Spangaro received sexual gratification.
He convicted Spangaro and sentenced him to three months’ jail, a two-year community corrections order with 200 hours’ work, ordered him to undertake a sex offenders program and placed him on the sex offenders register for life. “I am suspicious of the nature of your psycho-sexual health and believe you should be supervised and treated,” he said.
Mr Klestadt indicated he would have sentenced Spangaro to a longer jail term, as well as a community corrections order, but new legislation meant any prison term was limited to three months when combined with a treatment order.
The two women claimed to have been assaulted between August 2010 and February 3, 2011.
One woman told of Spangaro touching and fondling, escalating to what Mr Klestadt termed frottage and masturbation in her presence. The victim said she had tried to disassociate herself from the events in the hope he would cease.
Mr Klestadt said the second woman claimed Spangaro’s behaviour started about a month after she began work at the factory.
It commenced with touching her in an inappropriate way and kissing and progressed to rubbing himself against her and rubbing her breasts.
Mr Klestadt said that on February 3 last year the two women had a conversation in the office, when one said she did not feel comfortable in the office with Spangaro, to which the other replied: “you don’t know the half of it”.
The first woman replied that she did. She then asked if Spangaro was molesting the second woman, saying that just that morning Spangaro had put her hand on his penis.
Mr Klestadt said attacks on the credibility of the women by Spangaro’s defence had failed.
Mr Klestadt said the two victims lacked empathy for each other and at best their relationship could be considered “wary”, so the idea that they would make their disclosures and spring a trap without any motive lacked credibility or support.
He said in his assessment the two women were reliable historians of Spangaro’s behaviour and he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt the charges had been proven.
In a plea, the court heard Spangaro lost a $50,000 bonus he was due to receive for long-term work with the company when he was sacked.
Mr Klestadt said the way Spangaro had conducted the case showed no remorse and had inflicted extra trauma on the victims.