Indecent assault at hostel


A Frenchman who grabbed a woman’s breast after she refused the offer of a shower and sex with him at a Queenstown hostel’s got a strike against his name.

Dimitri Altmann, 30, of Paris, admitted indecently assaulting the 29-year-old Dutch victim in Queenstown on September 27 – that’s a qualifying offence under New Zealand’s three-strike legislation.

In Queenstown’s court on Tuesday, prosecuting cop Ian Collin said Altmann approached the woman at the hostel and talked to her for about 30 minutes before he started touching her arms and stroking her back.

He grabbed her legs and put them across his lap before suggesting they shower together and then have sex.

“The victim told the defendant ‘no’ and made it clear she wasn’t interested.”

Altmann didn’t get the hint, though, and kept “touching and hugging” her before trying to kiss her – she managed to block his face with her shoulder.

When Altmann grabbed and squeezed one of her breasts she “slapped his hand away, swore at him and told him that was not OK”.

She moved away and tried to ignore Altmann.

But, he followed, held up one of his hands and asked if he could touch her breast.

Collin: “She leaned away and told him on no uncertain terms to leave her alone.”

The woman left the hostel but went back when it was time to check in – she’d been booked into a mixed dorm room with Altmann who, again, asked to have a shower with her and hugged her.

She immediately reported the incident to the hostel manager who kicked Altmann out.

Queenstown cops caught up with him on October 3 – he declined to make a statement.

When asked by Judge Bernadette Farnan, his lawyer, Tanya Surrey, said she thought he was on the autism spectrum.

“It does appear to be a situation where he has taken a shine to the victim and has just completely misread the signals from her,” Surrey said.

“He’s got the wrong end of the stick entirely.”

Altmann, who had completed 40 hours’ voluntary community work, was ordered to make a $3000 emotional harm payment to the woman, who has since returned home.