A Melbourne woman's first response to being sexually assaulted while cycling - pulled into a bear hug and groped by a stranger - was that she was lucky.
"I'm lucky, don't you think, because it could have been so much worse," she told friends.
She believed she was lucky she didn't freeze - when fight or flight instincts kicked in she cycled as fast as she could to get away from 21-year-old Kataha Siwee and then hid in someone's front yard while she called a friend for help.
"What could have been luckier than that in that moment," the woman told Victoria' County Court on Thursday.
"I am not lucky. Although I am strong I continue to struggle."
She was one of five women Siwee sexually assaulted, or attempted to, that morning in Richmond and Abbotsford in April 2019. He'd attacked another woman days earlier.
He has pleaded guilty to five charges of sexual assault and one of attempted sexual assault. His lawyer Lucien Richter says he feels profound shame over his actions.
Prosecutor Stephen Devlin said the women were entitled to feel safe then but hadn't, and continue to feel unsafe now.
"They have been terrified ... and that's a terrible thing," he said.
One woman had her breast groped as he walked by Siwee on her way to catch a tram.
A 28-year-old woman was walking home from a friend's house in Richmond when Siwee grabbed her in a bear hug, put his hand under her dress and groped her over her underwear.
He did the same to a 36-year-old woman as she put her keys into her front door. He grabbed her from behind and groped her buttocks. She pushed him away, but he grabbed her breast and said "hey baby".
Siwee approached another woman and said he'd give her money to make love to him. When she said no he pushed her to the ground, pulled up her dress and touched her breast.
While she hit him and screamed for help, Siwee put his hand down her underwear. A man heard her cries and called out, taking chase after Siwee before returning to help the woman.
Siwee's actions were not trivial and were understandably terrifying, Mr Richter said.
"He ought to feel and does feel profoundly shamed for what he's done," he said.
Siwee, who is from Papua New Guinea, was in Australia on a tourist visa playing football and had aspirations of joining he AFL.
Mr Richter said opportunities that he once had open had been lost through his own actions, and Siwee is anxious about what might happen when he is deported.
"Those disappointed or frustrated people within his community in PNG may well seek reprisals against him for the loss of those opportunities," he said.
Siwee has been in custody since April 2019. He will be sentenced at a later date.
Australian Associated Press