A former osteopath
sentenced to eight years in jail for sexual offences against
women patients at his Gisborne practice, believed he was a
"crusader'' in his field, a court has been told.
Richard James Davis, 53, was sentenced by Justice David
Collins in the High Court at Wellington today.
He was earlier found guilty by a jury of 15 offences that
included eight sexual connection charges and seven indecent
assault charges, against eight women.
Davis was found not guilty of nine other offences.
During today's sentencing, Justice Collins said Davis'
offending involved a gross breach of trust of "vulnerable''
The crimes were planned and pre-meditated against women who
were naked or partially naked and in a prone position, he
"(Aside from family member offences against children), it's
hard to imagine a grosser breach of trust.''
During the course of the treatment, Davis touched the
complainants in a sexual manner and did not wear gloves when
he touched genital areas, he said.
Justice Collins said he did not consider Davis was remorseful
because of his continued denial of the offending.
As well as his prison sentence, Davis also received a first
warning under the "three strikes'' legislation.
Defence lawyer, Tony Snell said Davis believed he was a
"crusader'' in his field, believing his work could be
performed by men.
He now acknowledged he would never be an osteopath again, Mr
"He has been publicly humiliated amongst his peers.''
Davis was "extremely saddened'' when he read the victim
impact statements because he regarded some of the victims as
friends he had let down. Mr Snell said.
Davis stood quietly in grey prison clothes during the
sentencing with some family members in the gallery as
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said the most salient feature
of the offending was the "significant breach of trust''.
"It was that abuse of that trust that allowed the offending
There was "a breathtaking lack of insight'' on Davis' behalf,
The Crown's case was that Davis' behaviour showed a pattern
of offending. He told all complainants he was performing
clinical treatments and all were asked to remove their
underwear, or had it removed, before Davis sexually assaulted
The Crown also said techniques he used were not legitimate
The defence had argued that some patients were confused about
his treatment, in some cases inappropriate touching was
accidental and some complainants were wrong.