Hotel events manager on trial accused of sexual assault

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court

The events manager at a Bedford hotel has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting female members of staff.

Chaoki Rabhi is said to have used his position of authority to make sexual advances to three women by kissing and inappropriately touching them.

Luton Crown Court was told yesterday, Monday, at the start of his trial that he hoped his actions would be reciprocated by the three, but instead it’s claimed they were left shocked and upset.

Rabhi, 45, of Melick Road, Beanhill, Milton Keynes pleads not guilty to four offence of sexually assaulting the women in May and June of last year.

Michael Williams prosecuting told the jury that Mr Rabhi was the conference and events manager at the hotel.

The three alleged victims were all young women who worked casual shifts at the hotel.

The court was told that on May 9 last year one of the women was working at the hotel when the defendant asked her to go with him to a conference room to “reflect” on how her shift had gone.

It’s alleged that while in the room he told her she looked stressed and then massaged her shoulders before moving his hands down her body and touching her breast.

When she tried to leave Mr Williams said the defendant blocked her path and squeezed her bottom.

The court was told the woman managed to leave the room and broke down in tears.

Despite deciding she would not work at the hotel again, she changed her mind and on May 23 last year was working another shift at the hotel.

During her shift, said the prosecutor, the defendant tried to kiss her on the lips and when they were alone together in a store cupboard asked her if she had a tattoo.

That same day it’s alleged Mr Rabhi sexually assaulted another woman in a store cupboard by squeezing her bottom.

Mr Williams told the jury the last sexual assault is said to have taken place on a third woman in the early hours of June 14 last year when the defendant drove her to Bedford railway station at the end of her shift.

In his car he is said to have put his hand on the woman’s thigh and lent across and tried to put his tongue in her mouth during a kiss.

The court heard all three women made statements to the police and Mr Rabhi was interviewed on September 12 last year.

He denied any inappropriate behaviour had taken place and said two of the woman had made up the allegations to get back at him for being dismissed.

He said the third woman who is said to have been assaulted by him in his car had also made up the allegations to get back at him because she had feared she was about to be sacked.

The case continues.