A medical practitioner has been jailed and prohibited from providing health services after he indecently assaulted several patients and drugged one with temazepam
Warning: This article contains information, including details of sexual assault, that may distress some readers.
Dr Ali Kalantari Khorami has been permanently prohibited from providing health services after being jailed for offences while a registered medical practitioner.
The offences occurred while Dr Khorami was providing services as a sleep technician to five female patients at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, during overnight sleep studies between 16 July 2018 and 30 August 2018.
On one evening, Dr Khorami provided a patient the sedative temazepam, without her knowledge, prior to him deactivating the patient’s sensory sleep study data leads and the CCTV on three separate periods during the evening for periods of up to 30 minutes.
CCTV footage captured Dr Khorami performing sleep tests on patients while fondling his genitals, said the Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC).
He was also found to have inappropriately touched their bodies while they slept.
On numerous occasions, Dr Khorami disconnected the patients’ sensory sleep data leads and the CCTV or moved the CCTV camera towards the ceiling and away from the patient for periods of up to 40 minutes.
During the criminal proceedings, the doctor did not demonstrate any remorse for his conduct and maintained that his offending behaviour was a form of tantric healing in which he had obtained consent from the patients to perform.
All patients who were assaulted stated to police that at no stage did they give Dr Khorami permission to touch or interfere with them in any way other than for the purpose of the sleep study.
On 6 July 2020, Dr Khorami was found guilty by a jury at Sydney Downing Centre District Court of 19 charges of aggravated indecent assault, two charges of committing an aggravated act of indecency, and one charge of administering an intoxicating substance with the intent to commit an indictable offence.
In October he was convicted of the 22 offences and sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment of six years, with a non-parole period of three years and nine months.
The HCCC investigation found that in providing services as an overnight sleep technician, Dr Khorami was afforded significant trust by his patients and their families to provide a safe environment and deliver appropriate health to patients who were particularly vulnerable.
“Dr Khorami’s conduct demonstrated an element of planning and premeditation and was a deliberate attempt to take advantage of his professional position and capacity to obtain an intoxicating substance and assault patients entrusted into his care for his own sexual gratification,” said the Commission in a recent finding.
It ordered him permanently prohibited from providing any health services in any capacity, either paid or voluntary.
If this article has caused any distress, Lifeline Australia (Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention) is available at 13 11 14 or visit https://www.lifeline.org.au/. Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is available every day of the year between 8am and 11pm EST on 1300 244 910. https://www.supportforpharmacists.org.au/