Psychologist Charged With Sexual Assault Given Bail
A psychologist and academic accused of sexually assaulting three female patients during appointments has been released on bail.
Pieter Jozua Rossouw appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday after NSW police issued a warrant for his arrest earlier this month.
The charges relate to allegations he repeatedly assaulted a 17-year-old female patient while he was working as a private psychologist in 2004.
Two other female patients, aged in their 30s and 40s, told police in 2009 that Rossouw had also assaulted them during sessions.
Police prosecutor Matt Kahler told the court the 62-year-old was facing charges of aggravated sexual assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years, because he was in a position of authority when the alleged incidents occurred.
"The victims at the time were very distraught," he said.
"They trusted him and he abused that trust."
Mr Kahler claimed Rossouw was still a registered psychologist who had access to clients.
But defence lawyer Craig Pratt said he hadn't practiced since 2009, was "somewhat retired" and now only held workshops for professionals in the field.
"He is an academic with a distinguished career," he said.
Mr Pratt said his client denied the allegations and would fight them.
NSW police officers appeared in court in an attempt to extradite Rossouw, who has been living in Queensland for eight years, back to Sydney.
But Magistrate Paul Kluck agreed to release him on bail on the proviso he report to police daily, surrender his Australian and South African passports, and reside at his home in the affluent Brisbane suburb of St Lucia.
Rossouw is also required to front a Sydney court on February 5, where his bail could be revoked.
The psychologist is listed as a director and presenter at Mediros Clinical Solutions and two other companies that provide training and conduct research into neuropsychotherapy.
The Mediros Clinical Solutions website also states he is a professor of education at Central Queensland University.
He has also worked with several education departments across Australia, as well as Catholic Education Queensland and Victoria.