Stimulation meant to relax patient: Dapto GP

A Dapto GP accused of sexually assaulting a patient told police he stimulated the woman's clitoris in order to relax her, so he could carry out a proper internal examination.

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

Police arrested Balgi on October 15, 2012 after the woman agreed to meet him and, aided by Lake Illawarra police, recorded their conversation.

In a recording of a subsequent police interview, played to Wollongong District Court yesterday, 71-year-old Balgi is heard telling police the woman had become "obsessed" with the question of whether her internal parts had prolapsed, and whether this could be the cause for her husband seeming to lose interest in sex.

Balgi admitted stimulating the woman's clitoris after he attempted an internal examination and found he could "barely put one finger inside" because the woman was so "anxious".

"I thought that's the way I can actually get an examination going. You need at least two fingers to do a proper examination," Balgi said.

Elsewhere in the interview, he said: "It's not normal practice for any doctor to stimulate a patient's clitoris but I thought she might just relax. She didn't."

Asked why he hadn't referred the woman to a counsellor or other specialist, Balgi told police the woman had not asked for this and that a specialist would "cost an arm and a leg".

"Which counsellor are you going to refer?" he said. "Is it a problem, a sexual problem? Is it a mental problem or do we help her, send her to a sex therapist? Do I have to send her to a psychologist? Do I have to send her to a psychiatrist? ... Is it a gynaecological problem? How would you know where to refer?"

He denied pressing his erection against the woman's arm during the consultation, telling police he would have been incapable of having sex with her.

He told police he considered the woman "more of a friend" and admitted giving her a box of chocolates when she attended his North Wollongong apartment on April 16 to discuss his offer of a part-time bookkeeping job.

Soon after the visit, he phoned the woman with a theory that her husband "may have been playing up" and this could explain his apparent disinterest. He added the husband could have a sexually transmitted infection, and the woman should be tested.

Elsewhere on the recording, Balgi spoke of the woman's husband - "a big, strong man. Ah, if you know him, you wouldn't mess with this woman, believe me, right?"

In the recording, he denied he told the woman: "You can't tell anyone about this because I could get into trouble. You don't want me to lose my job or my family".

"Why would I lose my job and ... family for helping somebody?" he told police.

Balgi's trial continues before Judge Paul Conlon.

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