David Gabrieli was found guilty of 19 out of 22 charges. Picture: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images
David Gabrieli was found guilty of 19 out of 22 charges. Picture: Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The trick used to lure dating app victims

A Sydney man who posed as a doctor on dating applications has been found guilty of sexually assaulting four women in a five-month period.

After one day of deliberations, a NSW District Court jury on Tuesday afternoon found David Gabrieli guilty of 19 out of 22 charges including 11 counts of indecent assault, six counts of sexual intercourse without consent, one count of aggravated sexual assault inflicting actual bodily harm on the victim and one count of detaining for advantage.

The offending relates to four women the 39-year-old met via the dating applications RSVP and Bumble and assaulted in his Maroubra apartment between August 2017 and January 2018.

The jury must have accepted that Gabrieli grabbed each woman by the wrist and made her touch his penis, and further accepted that he prevented one of the women leaving his apartment for an estimated 10 minutes.

According to his detained victim, Gabrieli had said: "You're not leaving until you calm down", to which she replied: "You're going to have to let me go at some stage, you can't keep me here forever."

A photo of David Gabrieli made available at the time of his arrest.
A photo of David Gabrieli made available at the time of his arrest.

Gabrieli was found not guilty of one count of indecent assault, one count of detaining for advantage and one count of attempted sexual intercourse without consent.

He was also found not guilty of one count of aggravated sexual assault, inflicting actual bodily harm on the victim however the jury found him guilty of the alternative charge being sexual intercourse without consent.

Crown prosecutor Sally Traynor had submitted at the three-week trial that Gabrieli had a "modus operandi" and a tendency to engage in "abrupt sexual activity on the first occasion".

She expected the jury to be satisfied he followed a script and "was not prepared to deviate from it at all, even when the complainants said no".

"You would utterly reject the evidence you heard from the accused that they were willing participants in the sexual events and in that all four cases the events unexpectedly turned sour," Ms Traynor said on Friday.

She alleged Gabrieli created a "ruse" to lure the women to his apartment including having a headache, meeting at a coffee shop that was closing, forgetting an item at his home, and pretending to be "on call" for work at a nearby hospital.

"Something you would realise is a lie," Ms Traynor said.

The Maroubra apartment complex. Picture: Google Maps
The Maroubra apartment complex. Picture: Google Maps

Defence barrister Mark Brady had argued while his client "lied about being a doctor" and "lied on the Bumble profile", it didn't make him guilty.

He had asked the jury to consider the four women went to Mr Gabrieli's apartment in Maroubra, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, "voluntarily" and on the first date.

"I want you to consider that sex with regret is not rape," the defence barrister said on Monday.

"You probably know people that have regretted doing something with someone sexually."

Gabrieli remains in custody and will face a sentence hearing before Judge Nicole Noman SC at Downing Centre District Court on November 20.

Originally published as How man lured women to his place


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