Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Hotel manager admits groping teenager in cupboard, Carlisle court told

A hotel manager has been put on the sex offenders’ register for groping a teenager in an under-stairs cupboard.

Nigel Arismandez, 38, cornered the teenage girl in the cupboard he used as an office at the Wallfoot Hotel near Carlisle, where he worked until he was sacked over his behaviour last summer.

He shut the door behind them “to cut off her means of escape”, Carlisle Crown Court heard yesterday, then touched her legs and stomach under her shirt.

The court heard it happened after Arismandez jokingly tried to find out if the girl was ticklish. But things got out of hand and he indecently assaulted her.

Arismandez, who now lives in Embleton on the Northumberland coast, pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault.

He was given a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, put under the supervision of probation officers for a year and ordered to register as a sex offender for seven years.

He was also banned by a Sexual Offences Prevention Order from having unsupervised contact with any female under 18, and from taking any paid or voluntary job that would see him in a supervisory role with any women under 18.

The order will not prevent him from working in the hotel industry, but he will not be able to have any kind of management job.

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court that on May 31 last year the girl heard Arismandez calling her “princess” and making complimentary comments about her appearance.

He asked her if she was ticklish, and when she told him she was not he started tickling her stomach to prove her wrong.

“When that did not work he kept looking for somewhere else to find where she was ticklish,” Mr Rogerson said. Once inside the cupboard he told her: “You must be ticklish somewhere.”

And then he moved his hands over her and sexually assaulted her.

The teenager escaped by telling him she had to go to meet someone for a drink.

Mr Rogerson said the incident had had a “detrimental impact” on the girl and her family, and she had been left worrying what might have happened if she had not been able to leave.

The court heard that after his arrest Arismandez said he felt “things had been blown out of proportion”, though he also admitted he had got “carried away” because he was “a little intrigued by her”.

In mitigation, defence barrister Robert Adams said being prosecuted for such an offence was “an excruciatingly embarrassing experience for him”.


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