Man who grabbed bouncer’s crotch fails in discharge bid

A man who grabbed a female bouncer’s crotch is at risk of being deported after failing in his bid to avoid a conviction.

Joshua Rosa, 24, appeared in the Invercargill District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to a charge of assault.

Counsel Kate McHugh argued for a discharge without conviction as a mark on the defendant’s criminal record could result in him being deported as well as hinder future work and education prospects, she said.

The Crown opposed the application as Rosa had already obtained employment in his desired field despite five previous convictions.

This also meant the defendant was already liable for deportation.

Rosa’s "chequered prior history" featured drink-driving, racing, disorderly behaviour and two convictions for disqualified driving, the court heard.

"A conviction for this offence will not make this situation any worse," Judge Duncan Harvey said.

On December 16, the defendant was at an establishment in Wānaka and was asked to leave due to his level of intoxication.

He refused several times and was eventually escorted out by two bouncers.

Later, Rosa returned and verbally abused the staff, then he reached forward and grabbed the female bouncer in her groin area.

In response, she punched the defendant and when members of the public intervened, he left.

When police asked if he had touched the woman, Rosa responded: "no, but she swung at my face".

"The way in which the defendant behaved was both lewd and inappropriate," Ms McHugh said.

She submitted it was out-of-character behaviour for the defendant, who had a promising future in the maritime industry.

Judge Harvey said the incident had "connotations of indecency" making it a higher-level attack.

"It is difficult to imagine a more serious common assault," Judge Harvey said.

"He has managed to get as far as he has with five criminal convictions".

Judge Harvey refused the application and sentenced Rosa to nine months’ supervision and ordered him to pay $500 emotional harm reparation.