A MAN accused of groping a woman at a Wagga nightclub has been found guilty of one count of indecent assault.
Lee Geppert, of East Wagga, was in Wagga District Court on Thursday as Judge Gordon Lerve convicted him of indecently assaulting one victim in February 2014.
The 47-year-old man was also found not guilty of one count each of indecent assault and sexual intercourse without consent related to a separate alleged incident with another woman in April 2014.
Geppert was charged in March 2018 and had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The court heard that during the earlier incident, the victim went to what was the Capital Nightclub where she caught up with Geppert.
At one point, the pair went to the DJ's booth to request a song, but a security guard told them they could not take their drinks up there.
The pair decided to finish their drinks near a lounge, which was when Geppert put his left hand up the victim's dress and indecently touched her.
The victim then pushed him away before telling her sister's friend about the incident. She then left the nightclub, saying she felt nauseous and shaken.
During the judge-alone trial earlier this year, defence barrister Andrew Metcalf said the complainant's three-year delay in making a formal statement to police negatively impacted its reliability.
However, Crown prosecutor Paul Kerr argued that the court needed to consider the circumstances in which the statements were made and not the reliability of the statements.
On Thursday, Judge Lerve said that while he considered the delay in making his decision, there may be good reasons why a victim of sexual assault may hesitate in making a complaint.
He also said that the victim "impressed as a genuine, calm and controlled witness" and that he accepted her account of what happened.
The charges in which Geppert was found not guilty related to an alleged rape of a woman at his house in April 2014.
During trial, defence lawyer Andrew Metcalf argued that the incident did not occur based on the inconsistencies of the complainant's testimony and her history of dishonesty, which includes a conviction of larceny.
"The Crown has been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt the element that the accused knew that the complainant was not consent," Judge Lerve said.
"The fact that the accused had intercourse with [complainant] in the circumstances that he did, however, brings no credit on him."
After the verdicts, Geppert was arraigned for a drug matter in which he pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced for the sexual assault and drug offences on June 6.
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