Tribunal Finds Melbourne psychologist Gregory Asher Guilty of Sex with Patient

July 5, 2019

A Melbourne psychologist gave his client massages, had sex with her during late-night counselling sessions and told her she had the body of a porn star.

Psychologist Gregory Asher then told the shocked woman, who had been referred to him for depression, she was "too much temptation", a tribunal has heard.

The woman saw Asher multiple times, often during late-night appointments at his unmanned St Kilda premises where she had regular massages, for which she was asked to undress.

One treatment involved her using a float tank while naked and their discussions centred on her sex life.

Asher guilty

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has found Asher guilty of engaging in sex and inappropriate behaviour, failing to comply with professional boundaries and maintaining proper treatment records between August and December, 2012.

On one occasion, he placed a rug on the floor of his consultation room, asked the woman to lie naked, then had sex with her.

"He said something about how other girls would have arched their back," the woman said.

'He told me I had the body of a porn star. I did not take this as a compliment.'

"I remember that ... he told me I had the body of a porn star. I did not take this as a compliment.

"He said something to me like, 'Had I known it, I would have done that earlier'."

The woman said she left his practice after 10pm and asked if he had done that with anyone else.

"He said he hadn’t and if anyone knew that he would be deregistered for 10 years," she said.

"He said it only happened with me because I was too much temptation."

The woman was a vulnerable single mother with financial woes, a history of child sex abuse and men in her life who were sexual predators.

The tribunal found her version of events credible, adding Asher had created the perfect environment for the conduct to occur.

Allegations rejected

Asher rejected the allegations.

During his evidence, he tried to discredit the woman as erratic, manipulative and difficult, making "gratuitous, unwarranted, unsubstantiated and demeaning sexualised comments", even suggesting she may have been a prostitute.

"Mr Asher described (her) as having her 'boobs all over the place' so he was 'forced to look away every time she signed a document'," tribunal deputy president Heather Lambrick and members Gwenneth Crawford and Marian Power said.

'He said, 'I would think most men who see a woman dressed that provocatively would notice. It’s biological'.'

"He described her as 'not bending her knees to look at his bookshelf'. He made frequent reference to her wearing heels.

"He said, 'I would think most men who see a woman dressed that provocatively would notice. It’s biological'.”

The tribunal did not accept the woman was responsible for Asher's discomfort but "considered that it was Mr Asher who was struggling with boundary issues."

Source: “Melbourne psychologist had sex with depressed client on consultation room floor, tribunal hears,” AAP 7 News, July 4, 2019. URL:


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