GP found guilty of sexual assault and prescription fraud after pharmacist warning
A Brisbane doctor has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old female patient who had consulted him about diarrhoea and vomiting in October 2018.
Ramin Harirchian, 51, had also been getting drugs for himself by putting his patients’ names on scripts.
Before the Brisbane District Court jury handed down a guilty verdict on the sexual assault charge, the court was told that Harirchian was convicted of 21 offences in July, including 18 fraud charges relating to pain medication scripts made out in the names of his patients that he presented at pharmacies.
Thirteen of those offences were perpetrated while Harirchian was on bail for the sexual assault.
Police searched Harirchian’s house about a month after the sexual assault, when a chemist refused to fill out scripts that seemed suspicious.
Crown prosecutor Mark Whitbread said patients named on the scripts told police they had never been prescribed the drugs.
Harirchian, who had been on bail during the trial, was remanded in custody until his sentencing continues on December 6.
He was originally charged with rape and sexual assault but the rape charge was amended during the trial to one of sexual assault and Harirchian was discharged on the original sexual assault charge.
Harirchian, who had seen the patient previously, told her she looked sexy, slapped her on the bottom and asked how much sex she and her husband had before touching her vagina with his bare hand.
‘Significant chance’ of jail
In sentencing, Judge Paul Smith said: “He then placed his fingers in his mouth and said he wanted to lick her.”
The court heard she moved away before Harirchian’s fingers penetrated her and that afterwards he told her he had an erection.
In refusing bail, Judge Smith said Harirchian had been convicted of a serious charge involving a vulnerable person.
“Bearing in mind the significant breach of trust, the skin-on-skin contact in the vaginal area, there is a significant chance of an actual custodial sentence,” he said.
Defence barrister Joshua Jones said Harirchian had been self-prescribing the medication for a back injury.
“It was very poor form the way in which he went about doing it,” Mr Jones said.
Mr Whitbread called for Harirchian to serve a prison sentence, but Mr Jones asked for time to obtain character references that “might be the tipping point” to keep him out of jail.