NEVER AGAIN: Predator massage therapist banned forever
A MASSAGE therapist who was convicted of the rape of a Hervey Bay mum has been permanently prohibited from providing any health service.
In 2017, Paul Kirk, now 55, was sentenced to two and half years in prison after he pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court to one count of rape and one count of sexual assault.
The woman booked three sessions with Kirk, a "hypno-analytical psychotherapist" at his business, Western Healing.
She was seeking treatment for pain associated with a broken foot and help with quitting smoking.
The woman did now known Kirk had previously been convicted for sexually assaulting three other women while operating a massage business at Warwick before he moved to Torquay.
An interim prohibition order was placed upon Kirk in September 2016, but that was set aside and replaced by an order permanently prohibiting Kirk from providing any health service during a hearing of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal last month.
The first assault happened in 2010 when a 17 year old girl in Warwick sought treatment for a painful sciatic nerve and general back problems, during which she was sexually assaulted.
The next year, after he had served three months in prison for the first assault, a 31 year old woman was sexually assaulted during a message.
Kick was sentenced to six months in prison, wholly suspended for an operational period of 12 months.
During his court appearance, it was accepted Kirk was suffering from depression and muscular dystrophy.
In March 2011, another woman came forward after she was sexually assault by Kirk and he was again sentenced to serve three months in prison.
His fourth victim, the 30-year-old Hervey Bay woman, was sexually assault during a hypnotherapy session.
Kirk was also charged with rape after he inserted a finger into her vagina.
He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison with parole eligibility after six months.
During the hearing it was found that Kirk had shown a propensity to offend against patients when they were in a vulnerable and trusting state.
"The conduct involved four different patients, occurred over a lengthy period of time, and escalated to rape by digital penetration, notwithstanding the respondent having been previously imprisoned for offences of sexual assault," the finding read.
"The persistent behaviour suggests a strong propensity towards such deviant behaviour. The respondent behaved as a depraved and determined sexual predator who used his role as a therapist to prey upon women for his own sexual gratification."
The tribunal found the serious risk posed by Kirk could not be mitigated by imposing restrictions.
He was permanently banned from providing any health service.