Psychologist who said he was ‘looking for a wife’ is barred after he groped and rubbed himself on a female patient with learning difficulties
- Victorian psychologist barred from practice for professional misconduct
- Antonio Ferrero, 76, started a relationship with a mentally impaired client
- He also failed to inform psychology board he had been charged with offence
A Victorian psychologist who was ‘looking for a wife’ and touched up a female patient with a cognitive impairment more than a decade ago has been banned from practice.
Antonio Ferrero, 76, began a personal relationship with the woman in 2007 after he saw her up to eight times for psychological appointments between September and October.
They started a personal relationship about October 19 and she visited his apartment, where he also did consultations, on several occasions over the next week.
A Victorian psychologist who was ‘looking for a wife’ and touched up a female patient with a cognitive impairment more than a decade ago has been banned from practice (stock image)
The Victorian and Administrative Tribunal on Tuesday found Ferrero had engaged in professional misconduct for taking part in an indecent act with a client and failing to tell the Psychology Board of Australia he’d been charged with an offence.
Ferrero previously pleaded guilty to touching the woman’s breasts, and rubbing himself against her on two separate occasions in October 2007.
After she invited him to family gatherings and functions and he sent her various letters, in December 2007 the woman told him their friendship was over.
She lodged a complaint against him to police in 2013 and he was charged in 2015.
His registration was suspended in 2016 for three-and-a-half years after failing to tell the industry board about the charge.
He was sentenced by the County Court to an 18-month community corrections order.
The board started disciplinary action in 2017, delayed by Ferrero’s ‘multiple health conditions’, before the tribunal handed down its decision this week.
Ferrero admitted he was ‘looking for a wife’ but he erred in seeking a relationship with a patient, the order states.
‘There was no acknowledgement of the power imbalance, or the abuse of trust which his conduct entailed,’ tribunal senior member Jonathan Smithers wrote.
Ferrero will be able to apply to be registered after his two-year suspension imposed by the tribunal.
Ferrero will be able to apply to be registered after his two-year suspension imposed by the tribunal