Psychiatrist jailed for assaulting vulnerable, long-term patient
By Benjamin Ansell
March 29, 2019
The wife of Prabakar Rajan Thomas wailed as County Court Judge Liz Gaynor told the 69-year-old he would spend at least 14 months behind bars.
Thomas pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of sexual assault, more than three years after his attack on patient Jodie Fisher.
Ms Fisher was visibly emotional in court as she learned her attacker would not walk free.
She told reporters outside court she was “ecstatic with the sentence” saying she hopes it inspires other victims of sexual violence to come forward.
The Melbourne mother became a regular patient of Thomas in 2011 when she was referred for treatment of bipolar disorder.
Two years later, while discussing the effects of medication on the woman’s sex drive, Thomas began asking unnecessary questions about her sexual habits.
Thomas also showed her “graphic pornographic material” and called her sexy when she complained of weight gain caused by medication.
She complained to staff about Thomas’ “sleazy” behaviour but had to make another appointment to get her prescription signed.
It was at this appointment in November 2015 she was assaulted.
The psychiatrist put his hands in her bra and exposed her breasts and told the woman to masturbate for him, touching her over her clothes.
She reported the attack to police and the medical board but two days later attempted to take her own life.
“I am perfectly satisfied that the consequences of your offending have greatly exasperated the victim’s mental difficulties,” County Court Judge Liz Gaynor told Thomas during sentencing on Friday.
“Unfortunately as is often the case the victim has blamed, hated and loathed herself for your offending.”
An immediate term of imprisonment was warranted because of the enormous breach of trust, she added.
Thomas was sentenced to serve two years in jail, and must spend at least 14 months behind bars before being eligible for release on parole.