Expert testifies in case against Dapto doctor

A doctor accused of sexually assaulting a patient during an appointment at Dapto Medical Centre could have had no professional reason for rubbing the woman’s clitoris, an expert witness has told Wollongong District Court.

The doctor, Das Vithal Balgi, is accused of assaulting the woman during a March 12, 2012 consultation.

The woman on Wednesday told the court she had initially raised concerns about her marriage during the appointment, but it was Balgi who introduced the possibility the problems were the result of her being ‘‘too big’’ to make sex satisfying for her husband.

‘‘I was concerned it was me in general, and once he brought that up that was something I thought it could be,’’ she said. 

The woman told the court she had agreed to a physical examination but hadn’t expected an internal examination, only ‘‘looking, maybe some touching, but it wasn’t explained as internal’’. 

Responding to an account provided by the woman in a police statement and in earlier evidence, expert medical witness Dr Maria Nittis told the court she could not ‘‘think of any medical rationale [for a doctor] to rub a woman’s clitoris’’. 

‘‘The only [reason] for rubbing a woman’s clitoris repeatedly is for sexual stimulation,’’ she said. 

Dr Nittis criticised Balgi’s decision to perform an internal examination himself rather than refer the woman to a surgical gynaecologist, as well as the sparse notes he kept relating to the appointment, which made no mention of an internal examination. 

The court heard Balgi claimed to have left out details because the woman  requested confidentiality.

‘‘All his records should be confidential,’’ Dr Nittis told the court. Dr Nittis said Balgi had ‘‘left himself wide open to the problems he’s currently facing’’ by inviting the woman to his home and offering to apply an anti-inflammatory cream to her genitals 

The trial is expected to continue until at least Friday.

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