A Christchurch doctor who indecently assaulted male patients has today been jailed for four years and three months.
Rakesh Kumar Chawdhry, 62, was working as a GP at the Riccarton Clinic when he sexually abused 10 men between 2011 and 2015.
After a judge-alone trial at Christchurch District Court in November, Judge Jane Farish found him guilty on one charge of unlawful sexual connection and 11 charges of indecent assault.
Judge Farish found that India-born Chawdhry, in his role as a doctor, took the opportunity to offend against male patients, predominantly by undertaking what he described as a medical procedure called the "milking procedure".
But Judge Farish found that it was not a medical procedure at all, but rather Chawdhry taking a sexualised interest in them and trying to get them to obtain an erection.
Sometimes, patients were not even visiting for a genital check-up. Other times, the doctor offended during opportunistic sexually transmissible infections (STI) checks.
The men told the court today in victim impact statements that they felt embarrassed and ashamed, and that the crimes had had a "significant and profound effect", with some now avoiding doctors' appointments.
Judge Farish said it is hard to think of a grosser breach of trust, involving "invasive, skin-on-skin offending".
One victim told how they were "horribly shocked" afterwards and walked out of their GP appointment shaking. For a long time they had tried to forget it, but since Chawdhry was a doctor, and that he was forceful, the victim felt they had to "pretend it was right".
Judge Farish said Chawdhry has been in denial for a long time, in relation to his guilt, and in his sexual orientation towards men.
Today, as he was jailed, an earlier suppression order was eased to allow reporting for the first time that in 2014 Chawdhry was acquitted on a sex allegation charge. Further details of the allegations are subject to a final suppression order.
A pre-sentence report doesn't show that Chawdhry has accepted his guilt, Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said.
He said there was a substantial breach of trust, which defence counsel Paul Wicks QC accepted.
Wicks highlighted Chawdhry's contribution to the community, through voluntary work and financial donations to "many people from his home country".
The high-profile nature of the case, and the "extraordinary vilification" he's been subjected to, will have an impact on him as an inmate, Wicks claimed.
In jailing him to four years and three months, Judge Farish also ordered him to pay the victim of unlawful sexual connection an emotional harm payment of $4000, while paying the nine other victims $2000 each.