herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Doctor on trial for sex assault on two women

A DOCTOR has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting two female patients during medical consultations.

The 37-year-old accused is alleged to have touched the women's breasts while examining their chests with a stethoscope.

The man has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to two charges of sexual assault at a GP clinic in Dublin on February 19 and 20, 2013.

The first alleged victim told Melanie Greally BL, prosecuting, that at that time she was aged 22 and was at work suffering from cold and flu symptoms. She arranged to leave work and go to the GP clinic.

The accused was working there on his first day in a locum position.

She said that when he went to take her blood pressure she held her arm out and he "gently" took her hand and turned her arm around and with his finger tips ran his fingers up the length of my uncovered arm "really gently".

She said: "Automatically I felt very, very uncomfortable."

She agreed with Michael Bowman BL, defending, that she did not articulate her discomfort to the doctor. She said she thought he appeared to be aroused because she saw a bulge or something prominent but said that she couldn't be certain.

The court heard that she lay down on a bed and undid two buttons of her shirt in advance of a chest examination. She said that the doctor then undid two more buttons.

uncomfortable

She said: "He didn't tell me what he was going to do, he took his time. He didn't explain what he was going to do. I started to feel very uncomfortable.

"He was fumbling with the button, I felt so uncomfortable that I undid it. The shirt was fully open, exposing my chest and stomach".

She said he pulled her bra strap down and pushed her bra to one side completely exposing her breast. With the stethoscope cupped in the palm of his hand he began to touch her breast, she alleged.

"He'd choose a part to touch and cup it and was doing stroking motions over my nipple with his thumb. The stethoscope remained cupped in his hands the whole time," she said.

She said he did the same with her right breast and didn't speak during any of this part of the chest examination until he told her: "Your pulse, your heart is beating very fast".

After she left she became very upset and was crying, she testified.

She told Mr Bowman she had taken three different types of medication in the days before. Counsel noted that the possible side affects of some of these are hallucinations, nervousness and high fever. She said she had only taken decongestant on the day.

Counsel put it to the witness she was in a state of heightened anxiety, stress and sensitivity as a result of the combination of her medical condition, her self medication over the previous days and her concern that she has no more sick days to use. She denied this or that it informed her perception.

The trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie

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