A Wangaratta GP is under investigation for alleged sexual assaults
Detectives from Wangaratta Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team are looking into a series of alleged sexual assaults linked to a general practitioner in Wangaratta.
The alleged offences go back to an appointment on 10th October 2017, when a patient was examined by the doctor as a part of a female health test, for which it is alleged the GP did not wear gloves.
The patient also noticed what appeared to be camera equipment in the surgery room and reported it to police who started investigating the matter immediately.
Wangaratta Police Acting Superintendent Joy Arbuthnot has told of the investigation:
"A female attended the Ely st medical clinic. During the course of that examination she noticed that the doctor wasn't wearing gloves, and that there was a camera present in the room. She subsequently spoke to the police and an investigation was commenced. A warrant was executed at the clinic in November. Cameras and computer equipment were seized from the clinic and from the doctors home address. Subsequently those items were forensically examined, and a number of inappropriate female images were located".
"Through a process of cross referencing the images to the doctors records, we were able to specifically identify some of the women who had attended at the clinic" she said.
"We intend to make contact with those victims, and beyond that we expect that there may be other people that may come forward, and we would encourage them to contact Crimestoppers or the Wangaratta Police station".
The identified victims range from 17 to 60 and they all reside within the Wangaratta area.
The general practitioner is identified as being 68 years old, and has worked in Wangaratta for around 40 years.
Acting Superintendent Joy Arbuthnot says that the incident will impact the whole community, but to be aware that other practitioners are not implicated.
"This will impact all of the community, not only the victims but the broader community and how they view their general practitioners. This relates to one person and not other practitioners within Wangaratta. The Ely st clinic are not part of this, they were not aware and certainly not participating in this kind of offending".
She has also commended the victim who came forward to police.
"I think she's been very brave. She obviously knew that something was unusual, and so she came to us in a sense of enquiry which has led us to where we are today".
Lara Roeske, representing the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, advised that the accused practitioner was not a member of the RACGP.
Ms. Roeske has advised that "GP's are required to wear gloves when undertaking pelvic examinations. This is in accordance with standards set by RACGP guidelines. If gloves are not worn as part of this examination, that does not meet the standard".