A Tauranga manager molested a young woman desperate for work after taking her to his home on the pretext of a job interview.
Sandeep Tennyson, the manager at Greerton Caltex service station, approached the victim on his forecourt and told her he might have a job.
He later phoned her and insisted he pick her up but instead of driving her to the service station took her to his home where he started kissing her on the neck and pinned her down on the couch.
Tennyson, 33, was found guilty by a trial jury and sentenced last week but still works at the service station.
He was sentenced to four months' community detention and nine months' supervision in Tauranga District Court on Thursday after a jury last month found him guilty on one count of indecent assault.
He was also ordered to pay $1000 to his victim.
Tennyson paid the money into court after he was sentenced but maintained his innocence when the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend visited his workplace afterwards and found him behind the counter.
Tennyson said he was seeking further legal advice with the view to lodging an appeal against his conviction and sentence.
Court documents show the 20-year-old victim, who has automatic name suppression, gave evidence that she was approached by Tennyson in August 2011 while refuelling her vehicle.
He suggested she submit her CV because he might have a job for her.
On September 10, 2011, Tennyson called the victim and insisted he pick up from her home. She believed she was being taken to the service station for a job interview. He instead drove her to his Turret Rd home.
Tennyson gave her a beer, sat next to her on the couch, and while she was asking about the job, he put his arm around her, said he had a crush on her and asked for a kiss.
When she rejected his advances, Tennyson began kissing her on the neck. She protested and tried to push him away but he pinned her down on the couch.
He eventually released her and immediately apologised for his actions and apologised while driving her back home and told her not to tell anyone.
Judge Robert Wolff told Tennyson it was serious aggravating factor that he had "re-victimised" the victim, calling her a liar during his trial.
Outside court, Tennyson's victim told the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend that before the assault she had lost her full-time job and had to take out loans to get by. She was only able to find a few hours part-time work.
"After this happened, I couldn't work and had to take out more loans and it's been very difficult year. But I have tried to put this all behind me and didn't want to talk to anyone about it as he [Tennyson] had apologised.
"I didn't want to get anyone into trouble but my step-father persuaded me that I needed to go to the police to ensure this didn't happen again to anyone else."
She said she did not want Tennyson to receive a heavier sentence than he got, but hoped he got the counselling he needed.
"I want him to accept responsibility and hope he gets that what he did to me was wrong," the woman said.
She added she was shocked that Tennyson was still working and appeared to be able to still carry on as he was before the assault.
"I can't ... he's very lucky to have a job. I don't and am still trying to find a job."
Tennyson said he denied the victim had been to his house and claimed she had threatened to go to the police and make a false compliant if he did not pay her some money.
Tennyson's wife said the victim was a regular customer and had been coming into the station two to three times a week for about six months before the complaint. They had become friendly and often discussed aspects of each other's lives, including the woman's financial difficulties.
Tennyson said his employer and wife remained fully supportive of him despite his conviction, and why he remained in his job as manager.
Caltex Greerton's owner, who refused to give his name, said he had been made aware of the charge but understood the matter was still before the courts and he was yet to speak to Tennyson.