Sydney Morning Herald
Ong Ming Tan jailed for abusing trust of psychiatric patients
By Louise Hall
March 6, 2014
Ong Ming Tan, 40, pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated indecent assault against four patients who were under his care for serious mental illnesses, including anorexia.
The abuse occurred at a private hospital and a private clinic on Sydney’s North Shore in 2010 and 2011.
In the Sydney District Court on Thursday, Justice James Bennett said Tan threatened to have each of the women put under guardianship if they disclosed what went on in their sessions, which often occurred in a dimly lit room at night.
One victim, Samantha Barlow, who has waived the automatic non-publication order on her name, said Tan had three “non-negotiable rules of treatment”: honesty, confidentiality and a “tell me when you’re pissed off” rule.
He told the women they were not to see other clinicians and gradually turned them against their friends and family, causing them to become completely reliant on him.
He told one victim, now 31, that he “loved her and loved the shape of her buttocks”. He placed his hand close to her genitals and kissed her on the neck and forehead.
He told another, aged in her late 20s: “I will bend you over my knee, I will spank you for being a naughty girl.”
He told the third victim, a teenager, she didn’t show enough flesh and should wear push-up bras to be more attractive to men.
In her victim impact statement, Ms Barlow said Tan would rub his hands on her legs, tickle her and ask her about her sexual history.
“He said their sessions were their little secret and if she told other people, he would become her guardian,” Judge Bennett said.
Judge Bennett said the victims were vulnerable to sexual exploitation and Tan’s abuse delayed and compromised their recovery from their severe illnesses and caused substantial emotional harm.
Tan has since been diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder type I.
A spokeswoman for the Medical Council of NSW said Tan was suspended from practising as a doctor on February 1, 2012. He surrendered his registration on July 25, 2013.
In sentencing Tan to a maximum three years’ jail, Judge Bennett accepted the former psychiatrist is “burdened” by his mental illness, has lost his professional standing and had experienced the “destruction” of his marriage and family.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/ong-ming-tan-jailed-for-abusing-trust-of-psychiatric-patients-20140306-349vq.html#ixzz2vBEiUW1H