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Sex assault trial continues for Qld physio

A physiotherapist accused of sexually assaulting two female patients says he apologised to both women during their sessions but only because he had applied a painful treatment.

Scott Alexander Stuart Mackay, 48, is on trial after the women made complaints following their sessions on the same day at a healthcare clinic, in Brisbane’s north, in January 2019.

One woman has accused Mackay of putting his hand underneath her underwear and placing fingers in her vagina for about a minute while treating her for a sore knee.

The other says Mackay placed his fingers over her vagina when she received back pain treatment, Brisbane District Court has heard.

But Mackay has denied the allegations, saying he had never touched anyone inappropriately at the clinic that he opened in 2001.

Mackay said he would have apologised to the women during the sessions only because he had applied painful “trigger point therapy”.

During the treatment, pressure is applied to where the nerve enters the muscle or “trigger point” for about a minute.

Mackay said he provided the treatment “quite often” by pressing down his thumb while holding the massage table with his other hand to keep it stable.

“Every time I do a trigger point I say ‘sorry, this is pretty painful’,” he told defence barrister Kate Juhasz.

“It’s a painful technique but it gives such great effects. It takes about a minute for a trigger point to release.

“About 20 times a day I am saying ‘sorry about this’. I apologise all the time.”

Mackay denied putting his fingers inside the first woman’s vagina, saying he treated her knee before working on her hip flexor – a group of muscles near the top of the thigh – when he realised it was tight.

Mackay told the court his hands remained on top of her clothes throughout.

“We don’t get people naked,” he said.

The second woman arrived at the clinic later that day to receive treatment for back pain.

During the session, the woman alleged Mackay moved his hands between her legs and placed his “palm on her bottom and fingers across her vagina” for a short period, the court heard.

Mackay again denied the claim, saying he treated the woman above her clothing by pushing his thumb into her glutes’ trigger points for about a minute.

Mackay has pleaded not guilty to one count each of rape and sexual assault.

The trial continues before Judge Julie Dick.

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