A Mount Pleasant man is contesting allegations he touched a woman's underwear on the dance floor at The George Hotel.
Mark Rodney Ross, 49, entered a plea of not guilty to one charge of sexual assault at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Monday.
Crown prosecutor Andrew Moore said Ross had consumed a lot of alcohol while at Rafters at The George Hotel when the alleged incident happened in the early hours of January 26, 2018.
The court heard Ross was on the dance floor in close proximity with the complainant and allegedly touched or rubbed her on her underwear near her vagina.
Mr Moore said Ross and the complainant were previously known to each other.
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He said the complainant was visibly distressed and told a male acquaintance who approached Ross and he denied it. The complainant told a security guard what had allegedly happened and police became involved.
Ross was interviewed by police and denied the allegation, said he was 'pretty drunk' and could not remember the complainant's friend approaching him.
The case was scheduled for a two-day contested hearing in October.
Mr Moore said the prosecution would call the complainant and the complainant's male friend to give evidence and would show CCTV footage of the dance floor.
"It puts them in close proximity but it is difficult to see if there is any conduct," he said.
Ross's defence barrister said he would question 10 witnesses about the validity of the women's complaint and factual issues.
He said part of the defence case was that the complainant was making the allegation up.
Magistrate Ron Saines said Ross would lose his opportunity for leniency if he was found unsuccessful on this defence.
"If he puts to this woman she is making this up and if that is not consistent with findings at the end, your client loses the opportunity to be sentenced as someone that shows any remorse at all," he said.
Ross will remain on bail and return to court for a special mention of the matter in September.
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