'Alien-abducted' doctor reprimanded for patient sex
A MEDICAL doctor who once claimed to have been abducted by aliens has been reprimanded for engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient.
Dr Joseph Chiappalone has also been banned from applying for medical registration for 12 months in a decision handed down by the Queensland Civil and Administration Tribunal.
Dr Chiappalone was a GP in Stanthorpe when he started a sexual relationship with a 55-year-old patient.
The two first met at an appointment in November 2010 and started regular text messaging and telephone conversations on June 30, 2011.
It was not until July 2011 during an encounter at the patient's home that the relationship became sexual.
The former patient told the tribunal that after that incident, Dr Chiappalone came to her home "regularly", "often ... on a Tuesday night".
She claimed the two only engaged in oral sex, with Dr Chiappalone's medical condition preventing them from having sexual intercourse.
However, Dr Chiappalone told the tribunal that he had "rebuffed" the approaches of the former patient on at least three occasions.
He acknowledged "being playful and flirtatious in his text messages", and recognised "in hindsight he should have ceased all social contact with the former patient once he realised that she was interested in sexual activity".
Judge Anthony Rafter accepted the evidence of the former patient, which was supported by text messages and a medical examination conducted after the final sexual encounter between the two.
Judge Rafter found that Dr Chiappalone had behaved in a way that constituted professional misconduct.
He said there was a clear "power imbalance" between the former patient and her GP.
"The former patient was clearly vulnerable."
Dr Chiappalone has since sold his Stanthorpe medical practice and surrendered his medical registration.
In April 2011, Dr Chiappalone hosted a conference in Stanthorpe on his interactions with aliens.
He claims to have been taken to an alien "craft" and fed information about the future of the human species.
Dr Chiappalone said that the aliens were capable of taking the form of anything they chose and could "invade bodies".
"(Some of them can be) very evil and don't give two hoots about humans," he said of the aliens.