Centrelink psychologist sexually assaulted underage girls
A DEPRAVED Department of Human Services psychologist who sexually assaulted two young female patients he was assessing for NDIS eligibility will only be in jail for six months.
Hong Lay, 41, was sentenced in the County Court on October 7 after pleading guilty to two charges of sexual assault.
Lay was working at Pakenham Centrelink office in April, 2017 when he interviewed the two victims during separate meetings.
Lay initially interviewed both girls in the presence of their mothers but then privately examined the girls in a room which did not have CCTV.
He conducted a physical examination on both girls while alone in a "staff only" area of the Pakenham office.
The court heard he asked inappropriate questions such as "do you have a boyfriend" and "are you a virgin" to one of his victims and performed lewd acts on both underage girls.
He then pretended to write something down on a piece of paper before returning the girls to their mothers.
Lay was arrested and charged for one of the offences in May, 2017.
He told police one of his victim's said she was having a panic attack which is why he physically examined the girl.
He was arrested for the offences against his second victim in January, 2018.
Victim impact statements submitted by the girls and their families outlined the "severe harm" he had caused.
One girl said she was "frightened and confused", and suffered from panic attacks and distress.
She said she trusted Lay but now "continues to be afraid of people in authority".
Her mother said she suffers "guilt" and "anxiety" while trying to deal with her daughter's trauma.
The second girl said she feels "scared" and her relationship with her parents has been "strained".