An osteopath accused of sexually violating and indecently
assaulting 10 female patients has pleaded not guilty to more
than 20 charges as a jury trial got underway at the High
Court in Wellington this morning.
Richard James Davis of Gisborne has been charged with 11
counts of unlawful sexual connection and 13 counts of
indecent assault. A jury of five men and seven women are
sitting on the trial before Justice David Collins.
Lawyer Steve Manning opened the Crown's case by explaining
the charges brought against Davis.
The complainants allege Davis touched them inappropriately
and in a sexual manner during treatment.
The sexual violations charges relate to allegations by some
of the women that Davis performed invasive acts on them
during treatment. The indecent assault charges relate to
allegations of inappropriate touching of the women's breasts
Mr Manning said all the women trusted the osteopath because
of his position as a health professional.
As he finished his opening statement, Mr Manning urged the
jury to consider whether Davis' treatment was clinically
In response, Davis' lawyer Tony Snell told the jury that
Davis believed he had obtained the consent of the
complainants for his treatment techniques.
Those techniques had been clinically proven, which would
become clear to the jury as the trial progressed, he said.
Mr Snell also said Davis' treatment of the women had been in
no way for his own sexual gratification - a point alleged by
Mr Manning in the Crown's opening.
Justice Collins expects the trial to take two weeks.
- By Teuila Fuatai of APNZ