In court, rape victim details incidents that led to her reporting former consultant psychiatrist for sexual misconduct

Former psychiatrist Dr Gurdeep Singh is seen at the Magistrates’ Court in Petaling Jaya July 29, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
Former psychiatrist Dr Gurdeep Singh is seen at the Magistrates’ Court in Petaling Jaya July 29, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

PETALING JAYA, July 29 ― At the Petaling Jaya Magistrate’s Court today, a woman detailed her experiences with her former psychiatrist that eventually led to her lodging a police report against him for allegedly insulting her modesty.

The victim, who wishes not to be named, alleged that apart from repeatedly asking her to recall her harrowing experience of being raped, Dr Gurdeep Singh had also sent her pictures of his genitals as well as invited her over to his place to partake in drinks and drugs.

The 26-year-old victim who works for an NGO said she had found Dr Gurdeep through a Google search and decided to see him in February 2019 at his clinic in Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara.

Apart from what her lawyers had mentioned in earlier reports the victim said the doctor had prescribed her medication with adverse side effects.

During questioning by Deputy Public Prosecutor P. Vitiya Monisha, the victim recounted how she had to see Dr Gurdeep again on March 3, 2019 — despite feeling uncomfortable and nervous — as she needed different medication but felt finding a new psychiatrist would cost too much money.

“I was having breathing difficulties and blacked out in the shower once from the medication,” the victim said from the witness stand.

“I felt instead of helping me, he made it worse. I asked him many times what the side effects would be as my job requires me to meet a lot of people and I need to be sharp, but the only thing he kept saying was it will lower my libido, which I repeatedly said to him was not my concern.

“He also said it will not make me gain weight, and if it did, me and him can go jogging together.

“I felt confused and uncomfortable. I didn’t know if he was trying to help me recover from PTSD or being sexually suggestive.”

She detailed how from February 2019 to June 2019, she had gone to see Dr Gurdeep in the belief that he was there to help her, adding that she is still recovering from being raped four years ago.

She said that while she held mental health professionals in high regard, including Dr Gurdeep, she decided not to see him anymore after her second appointment as he continued to come across as sexually suggestive.

She said after that, her mental state deteriorated and she contemplated suicide, and she desperately needed medication as her anxiety and panic attacks became more frequent.

So she attempted to schedule her third appointment for June 6, but when she contacted Dr Gurdeep, he asked her to message him on his private number instead.

“A few days before that he added me on Facebook, then started messaging me on WhatsApp where friendly banter soon became sexualised,” the victim testified.

“Because of the direction of the conversation, I ended up not going for that appointment. During one extremely sexualised conversation, he sent me pictures of his penis.

“During our conversations, he would also invite me over to his place to consume alcohol, watch Netflix and also offered me to try ecstasy pills together. He said it’s the best form of antidepressant.

“He also said we could hang out and cuddle and see where it leads to.”

When asked why she still continued having conversations with Dr Gurdeep despite his numerous purported inappropriate sexual advances, the victim replied that she was still traumatised by her rape and was in disbelief that a medical health professional would attempt to hit on her.

She repeated that she held all mental health professionals in high regard and has met doctors who had her best interest at heart and did not think Dr Gurdeep was capable of being unprofessional.

After confiding in friends, she said that she decided to end the conversation, as things were getting out of hand and she was feeling unsafe.

She then made a complaint to the Complaints Department at Thomson Hospital Damansara who told her to lodge a police report.

“They said to make the police report so it would hold weight and that they would conduct their own investigations.

“Also, the Malaysian Medical Association told me to do the same. I did not make these accusations and make the police report because I wanted revenge. I was advised to do so, so I went along with it,” she added.

The case was heard before Magistrate Nurshahira Abdul Salim. The victim was represented by lawyer Francis Pereira while the accused was represented by Datuk Haaziq Pillay.

Dr Gurdeep has pleaded not guilty to all charges which fall under Section 509 of the Penal Code and carries a maximum five-year imprisonment, or a fine, or both, upon conviction.

The case resumes on August 12 and 13 where a forensic expert will present evidence from the WhatsApp conversations that are alleged to have taken place between the victim and Dr Gurdeep.

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