A Melbourne man, who allegedly posed as a gynaecologist and gave women internal ultrasounds has faced court.
It is alleged that he pretended to be an IVF specialist, placed his hands at times inside the vaginas of women, and sent multiple women the same ultrasound image of a fetus telling the women they were pregnant – when they were not.
Raffaele Lorenzo Di Paolo, 59, of Kew, who denies the claims saying he operated only as a homeopath, is accused of falsely passing himself off as a properly registered and qualified doctor, gynaecologist and IVF specialist.
He is charged with 88 offences including multiple counts of rape, sexual penetration, and fraud.
The charges relate to the mainly adult women Di Paolo treated at his Brighton and St Kilda Rd clinics in Melbourne for infertility.
He is accused of giving women dangerous fertility drugs that had potentially fatal complications and brushing off their questions when asked what they were taking.
“Don’t you worry about that, princess,” Raffaele Di Paolo allegedly told a patient reports The Age.
AAP reports that between 2006 to 2015, Di Paolo who had invoices with the letters ‘MD’ on them and corresponded with others doctors in the field, gave women internal ultrasounds and collected body samples like blood, sperm and tissue.
Police say no records could be found of testing ever having been done for the blood, sperm and other bodily samples he collected.
According to court documents tendered on the first day of his committal hearing in the Melbourne Magistrates Court Di Paolo told one complainant she was pregnant – when she was not and never had been – sending her an ultrasound image via instant messaging appearing to show a fetus in her uterus.
A police analysis of Di Paolo’s phone showed he had sent the same ultrasound image to multiple women.
The 57-year-old is alleged to have conned patients out of more than $342,000 by offering fertility treatment under the guise of being a medical practitioner.
Some desperate women, who had tried all other methods to have a much longed for baby paid up to $40,000 for the treatments he administered.