WA doctor not guilty of sex offences

Posted on: September 8th, 2019 by
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A West Australian doctor acquitted of 12 counts of inappropriately touching patients while conducting medical examinations is disappointed a jury failed to reach verdicts on other charges.


Ranjit Kumar Panda had been on trial in the WA District Court accused of committing 25 offences, including indecent assault and sexual penetration without consent, against 10 women in Bunbury in 2012.

On Thursday, a jury found Dr Panda not guilty of 12 offences but was undecided on 11 counts after deliberating for more than two days.

Judge Michael Bowden had previously ordered verdicts of not guilty on two other charges during the trial due to a lack of evidence.

Outside court, Dr Panda’s lawyer Simon Watters told reporters his client would fly home to Sydney either later on Thursday or on Friday.

“Dr Panda’s relieved that he’s been exonerated on certain counts,” he said.

“He’s obviously disappointed that the matter hasn’t been resolved completely.

“He’s been suspended from practice as a doctor since August 2012 and hopefully now the matter can be resolved in the short term.”

Most of Dr Panda’s complainants were aged in their early 20s but one was 17.

During the trial, the court heard the general practitioner offered patients Pap smears and breast examinations, despite some of the women coming to him for other health problems.

A pregnant woman, a mother with a three-month-old baby and a teenager with eczema who came to see Dr Panda with her mum were among those who testified.

The defence claimed the women had made up stories about Dr Panda after making contact on Facebook and other doctors at the practice were jealous of him.

A couple who were patients of Dr Panda testified that he never behaved inappropriately around them but they noticed staff had a negative attitude towards him.

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