Sex claims against GP

A DOCTOR accused of sexually assaulting female patients has been charged with four new offences.

The GP faced a hearing in Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday charged with five offences of sexual assault on five women at his practice.

But before the hearing began, Crown prosecutor Nici Schmitt said a witness, who previously did not want to make a formal complaint, had decided she wanted the doctor charged.

The defendant now faces one charge of sexual assault for each of the five separate complainants plus four new charges of sexual assault for the sixth woman.

The dates of the alleged offences range from late 2003 to 2009.

The court was closed to the public yesterday as the women gave evidence into the allegations and were cross-examined by defence barrister Malcolm Harrison.

The doctor's family waited outside the court to support him during the hearing.

The doctor was due to face a hearing accused of rape in July last year when the charges were changed.

A 34-year-old woman who alleged she was raped twice in a consulting room in October was expected to be cross-examined.

But the Director of Public Prosecutions decided to drop the two charges of rape and replace them with one charge of sexual assault.

The court was told at the time that the woman was allegedly sexually assaulted a month before the discontinued rape charges.

Police have previously appealed for alleged victims to come forward after an initial complaint was made.

The doctor has not yet entered a plea and remains on bail.

Neither the doctor nor the surgery can be identified for legal reasons.

The Medical Board of Queensland announced in October 2009 that the doctor had been suspended.

He has also been forced to surrender his passport.

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