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Australian Gynaecologist Setenced to Jail For Genital Mutilation

Sydney, Jul 1 : A former Australian gynecologist was sentenced on Friday to 3 1/2 years in prison for mutilating a patient's genitals, indecently assaulting two other patients and ignoring a ban on practicing obstetrics.Graeme
australian gynaecologist setenced to jail for...
PTI July 01, 2011 13:21 IST

Sydney, Jul 1 : A former Australian gynecologist was sentenced on Friday to 3 1/2 years in prison for mutilating a patient's genitals, indecently assaulting two other patients and ignoring a ban on practicing obstetrics.

Graeme Reeves, 60, was sentenced in the New South Wales District Court on Friday after Judge Greg Woods found him guilty in April of assaulting two patients during internal pelvic examinations at his clinic in the farming town of Bega in 2002 and 2003.

The judge found Reeves not guilty on charges of similarly sexually assaulting three other patients.

In March, a jury convicted him of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm by removing a 58-year-old patient's clitoris during surgery in 2002 to remove a lesion from her labia.

A jury had been unable to reach a verdict on the same charge in a trial in November last year.

The jury in the latest trial accepted the prosecution's case that Reeves never mentioned to the patient that he intended to remove her clitoris.

His lawyer, John Stratton, told the court that his client wanted to save her life by ensuring that no cancer could spread from the genital area surrounding the lesion. The lesion was later found to be benign.

The jury heard evidence that Reeves suffered from clinical depression and a personality disorder at the time of the offenses.

Woods said Friday that Reeves must spend at least two years in prison before he can be considered for parole.

The judge also ordered that Reeves never again practice medicine that involved contact with patients.

The patient who suffered genital mutilation condemned the sentence as too lenient.

"My sentence is for life," she told reporters outside court. "Never did I consider for one second he was going to do what he did."

Reeves pleaded guilty in February to a charge of obtaining money by deception through charging for obstetric procedures despite his ban. He pleaded innocent to all other charges.

The state medical board had banned him from practicing obstetrics in 1997 after complaints from nine patients led to an official finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct.

Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen told the judge in her sentencing submission that Reeves had continued to deliver babies by cesarean section after the ban because he was "too proud" to admit that he had been found incompetent. AP

 

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