A single mother-of-two has broken down in tears in a Wollongong courtroom describing an alleged indecent assault at the hands of her treating doctor.
The woman claimed the male doctor, who cannot be identify by court order, put his hand under her jumper, brushed her back and touched her buttocks before rubbing her thighs during a consultation at a medical facility north of Wollongong in October 2017.
She later rang her ex-husband and sister, telling them both “I think I’ve just been assaulted”.
The doctor was charged with a single count of assault with an act of indecency, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Giving evidence at the doctor’s hearing in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday, the woman said she attended the clinic seeking treatment for a sore throat.
She claimed the doctor, who wasn’t her regular doctor but whom she’d seen about a dozen times in the past two years, checked her over briefly and ruled out a bacterial infection.
She said he then inquired about her recent separation from her husband and how she was faring on her long-term anti-depressant medication.
The woman said she became emotional and tearful during the conversation, allegedly prompting the doctor to wheel his chair close to her chair and offer her a cuddle, which she did accept, despite telling the court she thought it was “odd” behaviour.
She told the court he offered her a second cuddle a short time later when she “broke down”.
“I had to stand up a little to cuddle him...he put his hand under my jumper and rubbed my back then took his hands down over my buttocks,” she said under questioning from prosecutor Samantha Knox.
“I was frightened and sat back down. I picked up my keys and wallet indicating I wanted to go. He kept talking to me about increasing my anti-depressant [dosage].
“[When] I stood up, he put his hands on my left thigh and began rubbing up and down my thighs, saying ‘you’re getting loose, you need to exercise’.
“He then did the same on the right leg.”
The woman claimed the rubbing movement went the length of her knee to just under her groin and was done two to three times on each leg.
The woman said she left the surgery in shock but made another appointment at the counter at the doctor’s request.
She broke down in tears when she got back to her car before calling her ex-husband and sister and telling them “I think I’ve just been assaulted”.
Meantime, she denied suggestions from defence barrister April Francis that the doctor had done nothing untoward that day.
“He touched you on the shoulder at one point and that was the only physical contact he had with you that day,” Ms Francis said.
“That’s not true,” the woman replied.
The hearing continues.