Physiotherapist who exposed himself to schoolgirl suspended for 2 years

He was also fined $3,000, censured and ordered to undergo an assessment to determine if psychiatric treatment was necessary.
PHOTO: Pixabay

A former senior physiotherapist at Gleneagles Hospital who exposed himself to a secondary schoolgirl at a Bedok void deck in 2015 has been suspended from practice for two years.

Mr Hiraniyan Don Quarrie was also fined $3,000, censured and ordered to undergo an assessment to determine if psychiatric treatment was necessary, said the Allied Health Professions Council in a press statement on Friday (Feb 8).

He is the first person to be hauled up by the council to face a disciplinary tribunal for a "defect in character" that rendered him unfit for his profession.

The council, which comes under the Ministry of Health, is the regulatory body for healthcare professionals such as clinical psychologists, dietitians, occupational therapists, podiatrists, radiographers, and others.

The disciplinary inquiry arose after the council received information about Mr Don Quarrie's 2016 conviction for a charge of intending to insult the modesty of a woman, said the statement.

According to the disciplinary tribunal's published grounds of decision, Mr Don Quarrie had made an "honest declaration" about his criminal conviction when he applied to the council to renew his licence.

The incident took place on the night of Sept 12, 2015, while the 16-year-old victim was studying for her examinations in the void deck.

Standing about 5m away from the table where the victim and her friend were sitting, he exposed himself until she noticed him.

She told her friend, whose back was towards him. Mr Don Quarrie went back behind the pillar but intermittently moved out from behind it and repeated his actions.

The girls were afraid but stayed where they were until they could get away when some other people walked by.

He pleaded guilty on July 27, 2016, and was sentenced to a $3,000 fine on Oct 6, 2016.

A second charge, for exposing himself to a different victim at a playground nearby, was taken into consideration.

Subsequently, the council brought one charge against him to face at a disciplinary tribunal.

He pleaded guilty at the inquiry on Oct 23 last year.

On the issue of sentencing, the tribunal considered past disciplinary proceedings by the Singapore Medical Council and Law Society, as there were no prior disciplinary cases involving an alleged defect in the character of a registered allied health professional that rendered him unfit for the profession at the time.

Out of the cases it considered, the tribunal felt the physiotherapist's actions were the most comparable to that of a doctor who was suspended for two years and fined $5,000 for recording videos up the skirts of two women.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.