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Hong Kong courts

Hong Kong doctor accused of sex attack during scoliosis examination

  • Woman, 24, tells court Dr John Lee slipped his hands into her bra eight times after she complained of back and menstrual pain
  • Lee denies one count of indecent assault
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 7:26pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2018, 8:50pm

A Hong Kong doctor was on Tuesday accused of touching the breasts and lower abdomen of a young patient when she went to see him with back pain.

The 24-year-old woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Kowloon City Court that Dr John Lee Young-king slipped his hands into her bra eight times while checking for scoliosis – a condition in which the spine curves from side to side – at his clinic.

Lee, 49, was also accused of slipping his right hand into the woman’s jeans, touching her lower abdomen.

“I felt a bit scared and uncomfortable ... I felt I was being assaulted,” the woman testified. “In previous checks the doctors would not touch my breasts. But since I didn’t know what the correct medical procedures were, I felt very suspicious and uncomfortable.”

The doctor, who sat frowning while listening to his patient’s testimony, has pleaded not guilty to one count of indecent assault.

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Patient records showed the woman had been visiting the Dr John Lee Integrated Medical Centre in To Kwa Wan since 2005, attending at first with her mother, who was also a regular patient.

On March 13 this year, she visited Lee for a referral letter to continue her treatment of scoliosis at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital in Sandy Bay.

The court heard she complained of back and menstrual pain to the doctor, who then performed checks after she stood up, rolled up her sweatshirt and bent forward.

The woman said Lee first pressed both of his palms on her lower back and moved his hands upwards.

He then observed there was a protrusion on the right side of her back and placed one hand on her stomach and the other on her back, pressing onto her bare skin about six to seven times as he moved his hands upwards.

When he reached her chest, the woman said, Lee slipped his right hand under the left side of her bra and pressed her breast about four to five times, his fingers brushing her nipple.

Lee was then accused of slipping his left hand under the right side of the woman’s bra.

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The woman claimed she reminded Lee she was suffering from back pain, but the doctor continued to press each side of her breasts three times, each time lasting about five seconds.

She reported the alleged incident to her boyfriend as soon as she left the consultation room.

A recording played in court revealed the boyfriend then demanded the doctor explain why the diagnosis of scoliosis involved touching the patient’s front.

“You seem to have indecently assaulted my girlfriend,” the boyfriend was heard saying. “No? Then why can’t I record this?”

The woman reported the alleged incident to police an hour later.

In cross-examination, defence counsel Bruce Tse Chee-ho suggested the atmosphere of the consultation was harmonious even after the alleged assault, as the patient revealed plans to work and study in New Zealand.

Tse also pointed out that the patient did not question or complain about the doctor’s methods during the consultation. The witness agreed.

Her evidence continues before Magistrate Raymond Wong Kwok-fai on Wednesday.