Steven Tabban: Melbourne real estate agent in court for sexual assault

A real estate agent caught preying on young women during job interviews has been banned from working in the industry, a court has been told.

Steven Tabban, 39, returned before the Victorian County Court for a pre-sentence on Wednesday after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual assault.

Arguing the court should impose a fine or good behaviour bond, lawyer Emman Turnbull said the 20-year real estate veteran had his licence cancelled in August last year as a result of the offending.

“It was his identity, it was who he was, it was what he did,” she said.

“This has caused years of damage to his business … He’s lost his entire ability to engage in his career.”

The court was told the new dad’s case had been adjourned last year to give him a chance to complete a 20-week men’s behavioural change program and receive treatment from a psychologist.

Ms Turnbull said Tabban had “done everything the court had asked of him” and had demonstrated remorse, regret and insight into his offending.

“In my submission, that person ought to be afforded a chance to move on with his life,” she said.

Ms Turnbull said Tabban had found the behavioural change program “extremely helpful” in both his professional and home life.

According to court documents, Tabban, the director of Create Real Estate in Sunshine, in Melbourne’s west, intentionally sexually touched two young women without consent during after-hours interviews at his workplace.

He tried to kiss one woman, touching her thigh and bra before she told him he was uncomfortable.

The following year, he grabbed a woman’s hand and attempted to compel her to touch his penis.

Prosecutor Richard Pirrie argued a good behaviour bond would be inadequate and the court should impose a conviction for the offending.

He pointed to Tabban’s “position of power” in the commission of the offences, his use of an isolated location and the age gap with his victims who were 19 and 21 at the time.

Judge Gregory Lyon adjourned the case, saying he wanted time to consider the parties’ submissions.

Tabban will return to court at a later date.

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