The healthcare watchdog has banned a massage therapist who raped or sexually abused seven women from ever providing any health services.
Mark Anthony John Horsfall, 62, was jailed in June 2023 for up to 10 years for his crimes, which he perpetrated at a Gerringong massage business, a victim's mother's home and his own Culburra Beach home in 2020 and 2021.
Now the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) has also stepped in, finding Horsfall breached the code of conduct for non-registered health practitioners and poses a risk to the health and safety of the public.
The HCCC received two separate complaints when Horsfall was charged with sex crimes in March 2021.
As a massage therapist and non-registered health practitioner, Horsfall was bound by the code of conduct described in public health regulations, which states that a health practitioner must provide services safely and ethically, and must not engage in sexual or other close personal relationships with a client.
In its decision regarding Horsfall, the HCCC said he had been given trust in his role as a massage therapist.
"The convictions demonstrate predatory behaviour towards female clients who when they consulted with Mr Horsfall expected him to provide professional massage services in a safe and ethical manner," the commission said.
Horsfall pleaded guilty to eight crimes committed against five women at the Gerringong massage parlour, but went to trial in relation to the rapes of two other women, for which he was found guilty.
Considering comments Horsfall made to a psychologist professing his innocence before his sentencing, the HCCC said this showed a "significant lack of insight" which heightened the risk he posed, noting he had "no understanding" of his obligations under the code of conduct.
"The commission has determined that Mr Horsfall poses a high risk to public health and safety based on the seriousness of his conduct and obvious lack of insight," the HCCC said in a statement.
The commission has permanently prohibited Horsfall from providing any health services again, in either paid employment or in a voluntary capacity.
The HCCC wrote to Horsfall in July 2023 advising of its intention to take action against him, but he did not provide any response.
In total, Horsfall pleaded or was found guilty of seven counts of sexual touching, four counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated sexual assault, the latter related to a woman who had a disability.
Horsfall faces a non-parole period of six-and-a-half years, which with time already served, makes him eligible for parole in January 2029.
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