An Illawarra woman has broken down in court describing her alleged late-night sexual assault at the hands of a Wollongong taxi driver.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims married cabbie Zejadin Ganiji forced her to perform oral sex on him then squeezed her nipples while driving her home in the early hours of February 6 last year.
Ganiji is on trial in Wollongong District Court, having pleaded not guilty charges of indecent and sexual assault.
Giving evidence in court on Tuesday, the woman said she had spent the night drinking at a friend’s house in Corrimal and was waiting to catch the bus on the Princes Highway when Ganiji pulled his taxi up near her and asked where she was headed.
She said she told Ganiji her home suburb but said she didn’t have money for a taxi and would catch the bus, however Ganiji allegedly replied “just hop in...I have got a fare up there anyway, I’m going that way, hop in, I will take you home”.
The woman said she told Ganiji she could pay with her debit card, however she claimed he repeatedly told her “we will sort it out” as they drove north.
The woman told the court she reached into her bag on the floor to get her debit card as soon as they were driving, at which time Ganiji took a piece of paper out of the glove box and placed it over the rear vision mirror, obscuring the car’s CCTV system.
She said Ganiji then pulled her towards him and started undoing the zipper of his pants.
“He put his arm around me and pulled my head down towards his penis and said ‘suck it’.”
The woman said Ganiji repeated the demand, telling her she would enjoy it.
She claimed she was unable to move away from him so complied with Ganiji’s request, saying she was afraid of what might happen if she refused.
“I was scared and alone,” she said.
“I didn’t want to do it. I was devastated this was happening to me.”
The woman said Ganiji stopped at the Sandon Point carpark, prompting her to get out of the vehicle and walk towards the bike track, telling him to leave her alone and she could walk the rest of the way home..
She alleges Ganiji followed her across the grass and grabbed hold of her arms before pulling her top down and squeezing her nipples.
He then allegedly said “I’m going to f—k you up the arse”.
“In hindsight I should have just run or kicked him in the balls [but] I froze,” she told the court as she explained why she didn’t flee.
“Nobody on earth knew where I was. Nobody knew what was happening, there was no one around….I didn’t know this man, I didn’t know what he was capable of.
“I thought he could have injured me, hurt me or even killed me. I thought if I yelled none of the [occupants of the] houses would have heard me.”
The woman claims Ganiji asked her if she had a condom and appeared to lose interest when she said she didn’t.
A few minutes later she got back in the car with Ganiji and he dropped her off near her northern Illawarra home.
When asked why she’d returned to the vehicle after the alleged assault, the woman admitted she didn’t know why she’d done it but said she “had a feeling he wasn’t going to do anything else to me”.
“I was trying to be as calm as I could...I already felt defeated and depleted,” she said.
The woman reported the incident to police when she arrived home.
When arrested a few days later, Ganiji allegedly told police during his interview that the woman was “a nut job” and that she must have been “on some really hard drugs” to make such a set of allegations.
He claimed the woman had come onto him that night and he had tried to reject her advances in a “gentleman way”.
The trial, before Judge Andrew Haesler, continues.