The West Australian
Doctor, 80, faces jail for sex abuse
An 80-year-old former psychiatrist spent last night in prison after a jury found him guilty of raping and sexually abusing two female patients more than 30 years ago.
After seven hours of deliberation, the Supreme Court jury convicted Alan John Stubley of 10 of the 14 alleged offences against two women during psychotherapy sessions from 1975 to 1978. He was found guilty of six counts of rape, three of indecent assault and one of attempted rape.
Last night, the partner of one of the victims said that the two former patients, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were hoping to move on after a long wait for justice.
“It’s very difficult for people to realise how frail and fragile these girls were . . . how absolutely destroyed these people became,” he said.
After the verdict was handed down, Justice Narelle Johnson told the court a jail sentence was likely to be deemed appropriate.
Defence lawyer Michael Tudori said outside court that Stubley was devastated. “He’s very shocked and I’m sure tomorrow will be even harder for him,” he said.
The verdicts, all but one of which were unanimous, came after four days of evidence during which the victims, both now 62, said they had never wanted the sexual contact but Stubley had intimidated them and threatened to incarcerate them in hospital.
The court was told one victim continued to see Stubley for four years, while the other visited him on and off for 21 years.
Stubley also gave evidence, saying he believed at the time that “bed therapy” could be helpful but that a spiritual change in the early 1980s led him to now regard it as unethical.
The doctor, who has senile dementia, admitted sleeping with the victims during the sessions but argued it had always been consensual.
State prosecutor Alan Troy told the court during the trial that Stubley had abused his position to take advantage of vulnerable women.
Defence lawyer Mark Trowell argued while his client’s actions may have been unethical, the case was not being heard in a “court of morals”.
Stubley was remanded in custody and is due for sentence on January 19.
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