ACT News

License article

Prostitute felt 'violated' after man tricked her for free sex

A man who tricked a sex worker into providing sexual services to him for free has been sentenced to eight months behind bars. 

Akis Emmanouel Livas, 52, caused the woman to feel "internally violated, used and dirty" when he pretended he had brought cash to pay her for sex in 2010, a court heard.

Livas pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent shortly before he was set to go on trial last year and appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on Friday.

The court was told he first had sex with the woman in October 2010 but didn't have enough money to pay the full fee.

Livas vowed to pay the $50 he still owed her on their next encounter, which he booked later that month for $800.

He handed over a sealed envelope and stopped the woman from opening it to check the money was inside, saying:


"No, no, no don't open it now, it's – you have to trust me on this – it's part of my fantasy that it's all about the romance and I need you to trust me."

The pair had sex but the woman grew increasingly suspicious and later opened the envelope to find there was no money inside.

Instead, she found a paper bag that had been folded to make it feel like a wad of cash, and a white card with a printed red rose on it.

Livas left the premises and the woman later reported the incident to police.

The woman read a victim impact statement in court and recalled she cried uncontrollably as tears ran down her naked body when she realised she'd been deceived.

"I felt internally violated, used and dirty. I felt sick," she said.

In the days after the incident, she couldn't eat, sleep or think properly and she later developed post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.

She told the court she lost trust in her regular clients and felt her ability to screen prospective clients appropriately had suffered.

The woman said sex work was a necessary service to the community but she kept her job a secret because of the stigma attached and the "catastrophic" impact it could have on her work and relationships.

She said speaking about the incident and the subsequent public scrutiny had worsened the trauma she felt over the incident.

"I am not a victim of my job," she told the court.

"I am a real woman. I am a rape victim."

Livas' lawyer argued his client's life had spiralled out of control after the incident, and his relationships and employment had suffered. 

He said his client had not been violent towards the woman during their encounter and claimed he felt he developed a special bond with her.

Prosecutor Jon White said the woman's comments showed the case was about "violation of personal integrity of a person in a very vulnerable situation".

Mr White said while such cases did not often come before the courts, it was a sexual assault and there was a need for general deterrence. 

"Sex workers are just as entitled as any member of the community to have their sexual integrity respected."

In handing down the sentence, Justice Hilary Penfold said consent for sex that was obtained by fraud constituted rape. 

Livas appeared shocked when Ms Penfold sentenced him to eight months behind bars and ordered he serve a two-year good behaviour order.

She said while the crime was not violent, it was clearly premeditated and Livas had shown a limited ability to accept personal responsibility for his actions.