Chinese medicine practitioner jailed for sex assault

medicalstaffverification April 24, 2012 0

A traditional Chinese medicine practitioner has been jailed for at least 15 months for sexually assaulting a client who believed he was a doctor.

Watson Zhu, 58, of Surry Hills, was found guilty by a jury last November of two counts of having sexual intercourse without consent of the woman in January 1994.

The offences, which occurred during the same consultation, involved digital penetration of the woman at the Chinese Medicine & Herbal Centre in Sydney’s CBD.

He was acquitted of three other offences involving two other complainants.

In the NSW District Court today, Judge Penelope Hock set a maximum term of two years and six months, noting Zhu was to be sentenced according to 1994 patterns which were lower than current penalties.

“The complainant believed he was a legally qualified medical practitioner in NSW, but he was not,” Judge Hock said.

A board at the centre referred to “Dr Zhu” and his card listed medical qualifications.

The woman saw him about five times before the January consultation, which was to be her last before she moved overseas.

She saw him for a rash on her lips and arms and after she undressed to her underwear, he applied acupressure which he usually did on her visits.

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The woman told the jury he pressed down “uncomfortably close” to her breast before digitally penetrating her twice, saying he was “very worried” she had a disease.

“The complainant did not say anything to the offender at the time,” Judge Hock said.

“She explained in her evidence that she was confused about what happened because of her belief that the offender was a doctor.”

But she told a close friend, who contacted the Medical Board.

“These offences were a serious violation of the complainant’s body,” she said.

“They are clearly a breach of the trust that she had in the offender.

“She believed him to be a qualified medical practitioner, and she was only in a position where the offender could sexually assault her because of that belief.

The judge said Zhu was well regarded by many people who had been treated by him and had provided impressive testimonials on his behalf.

“He is to be sentenced on the basis that these offences were isolated in a long career as a health worker.”

Source : smh

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