Indian-origin doctor held guilty of rape in Australia

Last Updated 04 May 2018, 11:44 IST

An Australian court Tuesday found a 39-year-old doctor of Indian origin guilty of raping two women during consultations.

Manu Maimbilly Gopal, who hails from Kochi in the south Indian state of Kerala, had illegally penetrated two women with his fingers when they complained of abdominal pain during separate visits to a Sunbury medical clinic in Melbourne last February, the Melbourne Age reported.

A jury in Victoria's supreme court Tuesday found Gopal guilty of two counts of rape.
The court remanded Gopal till the pre-sentencing hearing Sep 26.

Gopal's first victim, an 18-year-old full-time student, had been home alone Feb 23, suffering from stomach cramps.

According to the report, since her parents were away overseas, she spoke to her boyfriend who suggested that she go see a doctor. The young woman took an appointment with Gopal.

Gopal led her into his consulting room and locked the door from inside. After the patient told Gopal about the stomach cramps, he, withour seeking her consent or seeking her consent, simply asked her whether she wanted him to wear gloves.
Prosecutor Lesley Taylor told the court, the young woman was hesitating before agreeing to vaginal examination.

“(The young woman) told you that she didn't understand what the internal examination would involve, where it was going to be,” Taylor was quoted as telling the jury.

“She didn't know that it was going to be a vaginal examination until Gopal entered his fingers into her vagina,” she said. “There was no medical reason to conduct the vaginal examination at all.”

The second victim, a mother of four children, went to Gopal's clinic Feb 25 complaining of a pain to her right side.

The doctor told her that she did not have appendicitis but symptoms indicated there might be problems in her ovaries and she needed an internal examination.
The court was also told that Gopal asked her if she had any problems with having sex and she replied no.

She said she was just too tired with her four children. “She said that she thought it was a strange question and understood him to asking if she fell asleep during sex rather than before it,” Taylor told the jury.

When the woman wanted to know whether she really needed the vaginal examination, the doctor insisted. Gopal asked her during the vaginal examination: “Do you want me to do it softer? Do you want me to do it faster? Does it feel good now?”

The doctor only stopped after the woman pushed him back.The doctor did not make any note of the vaginal examination. Gopal was arrested at Melbourne International Airport March 1 as he waited to board a flight to India after police informed him about the sexual assault charges against him. His wife and daughter live in Kochi.

(Published 17 September 2013, 10:02 IST)

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