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A criminologist is questioning why a disgraced real estate agent who sexually harassed and bullied a female office colleague was granted permanent name suppression.

But the man's offending, which included regularly unzipping his fly in front of the woman, using lewd jokes and offensive references to her breasts and genitals, is unlikely to have crossed the threshold for criminal charges.

"In my opinion he was very lucky to get suppression," Canterbury University criminology professor Greg Newbold told the Herald.


"It's pretty salacious behaviour and I would have thought it would be part of the penalty that he would be named and shamed."

The agent was fined $10,000 for disgraceful misconduct but allowed to keep his licence and granted permanent name suppression by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal to protect his future job prospects and community work.

Agents who face adverse disciplinary proceedings generally have the transgressions recorded against their name on the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) public register, so the public can vet potential agents before buying or selling homes.

However, the man's listed details say he has "no disciplinary history", to protect his identity. It says only that his licence has been voluntarily suspended.

The tribunal ruled that only months after the younger woman began working as the agent's personal assistant in July 2014, he began making disparaging and highly offensive remarks.

They included calling her "s**t tits", "ugly" and "pregnant belly", commenting on her underwear and genitals, and referring to her as "slave".

"The defendant would casually undo his fly zip, put his hands in his pants, and zip and unzip his fly zip," the woman had alleged.

The tribunal ruled he had zipped and unzipped his fly in her presence, which was "inappropriate in a shared office".

He also referred to a workmate's girlfriend as "cum bucket" and told another female colleague he'd "jizzed in my pants when I first saw you".

The complainant resigned in January 2015. She later entered into a confidential settlement with the agency and reached a financial settlement with the man after complaining to the Human Rights Commission.

The man told investigators his behaviour was simply office culture and that the woman "gave as good as she got".

Approached for comment last night, the man wanted to know how the Herald had tracked him down given he had suppression.

He would not comment without talking to his "boss", saying only: "It's all detailed in the files. The whole case is about 580 pages-odd, but obviously that doesn't get published."

Newbold said the man appeared to have personality problems.

But despite the inappropriateness of his behaviour, it was unlikely to warrant any criminal investigation, Newbold said.

"There probably wasn't any point in proceeding with criminal charges. There may be something in harassment, but he hasn't sexually assaulted her, he hasn't touched her, he's just offended her, so I don't think there's any basis for a conviction."

Asked why the man disciplinary history was able to be hidden, an REAA spokeswoman told the Herald the information was withheld after the tribunal's decision to grant permanent name suppression.

She added that the disciplinary finding against the man had been published, but "anonymised".

"Unless there are special circumstances, the REAA generally takes a strong stance against name suppression as we consider that it is in the interests of consumers to know the disciplinary history of a licensee they are working with. Ultimately however, it is up to the tribunal whether to grant it."