Masseur mindset ‘distorted’

Darley masseur Ronald Van Dorp has been remanded in custody after a sentence was yet to be finalised in court last week.


The 53-year-old appeared in the Melbourne County Court on Friday October 16, where he pleaded guilty to charges of rape and indecent assault.


Van Dorp was arrested on October 31, 2013 after 26 alleged victims were indecently assaulted whilst receiving a massage at his Vitality Centre in Darley.


The pain of nine women and their families was laid bare with victim impact statements, with Van Dorp’s actions commonly referred to as “preying on the vulnerabilities” of women.


A psychological report was disclosed and more than 15 of the defendant’s family, friends and former work colleagues provided character references, which were not read aloud in court.


Represented by Robert Stary and Associates, the defendant’s counsellor stated that Van Dorp did not believe his actions were pre-mediated, but opportunistic.


“My client did not seek out his victims so be able to use them, there was no grooming behaviour,” he said.


“At the end of 2012 to 2013 the business began to kick off and the fact that more women came through the door led to more offending. There were countless women who said they had a massage and it was fine, but there were also signals misread.

“He has been questioned to a great extent by his doctor but what he has reiterated was why didn’t anyone complain? This is no way an attempt to blame the victims but he had a very distorted mindset”.


Judge Hampel said due to the large amount of information, the case would not be finalised until a later date.


Van Dorp was remanded until October 31 for sentencing.

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