The Sexual Assault
Italian Diego Dellarovere, 43, attacked the woman at her flat in Croydon on May 7 2021, after she welcomed him as her first-ever guest.
Dellarovere had offered the woman a relaxing massage and started rubbing her shoulders as they enjoyed a glass of wine together at her home.
The Airbnb host noticed he was getting ‘handsy’, but admitted in a voice note to a friend that ‘he’s Italian and they do that’.
The Victim Statement
In her videoed police interview, played to the jury, the woman said she made it clear she did not want to be massaged by Dellarovere but he put on spa music and said he had oil.
She struggled to push him away and said: ‘I don’t want this,’ Croydon Crown Court heard, but Dellarovere then pulled down his trousers and underwear, and forced her to perform a sex act on him.
The woman said she hid her knife block as she was scared he would stab her and barricaded herself in her bedroom with her pets.
He Said Otherwise
Dellarovere told jurors they sat on the sofa, drank wine and chatted and there was ‘chemistry’ between them. He said they chatted about spiritual stuff and he gave her a relaxing ‘Reiki’ massage.
Dellarovere said he kissed and touched the woman before she performed a sex act on him, but insisted it was all consensual.
He Denied the Charge
He denied rape, sexual assault and assault by penetration but the jury at Croydon Crown Court unanimously convicted him on all three counts after five hours and 17 minutes’ deliberation.
Smartly dressed in a dark suit and tie, Dellarovere looked away and made a praying motion with his hands after the verdicts were read out.
Dellarovere’s Facebook page shows the Italian enjoying holidays at some of the most exotic locations in the world.
One photo shows Dellarovere and another holidaymaker at Thailand’s Maya Bay, made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach.
His girlfriend, who was present in court, spoke to Dellarovere in Italian and gave ironic applause to the jury as they left court.
She’s a Liar
In an apparent reference to the victim she said: ‘She’s a liar’ and shouted ‘F***ing liar’ as she stormed out of court after the hearing ended.
The woman left two voice notes with her friend, who knew she had been hosting an Airbnb customer in her flat, the next day.
In the first note, left at 10.39am, the woman said: ‘I have got a bit of a story to tell you about Diego.’
In the second she explained that they had sat on the sofa chatting, when he began making advances.
‘I was chatting with him, chatting about his life, what he does, and I was like ‘is he getting a bit handsy?’ He’s Italian and they do that so I’ll leave that slide.’
She said at one point the conversation went quiet, when Dellarovere went to give her a hug and started kissing her neck quite forcefully.