Sex abuse clinician jailed
An osteopath who sexually abused patients by insisting it
was part of their treatment has been jailed.
Mark Piraino, a former student and tutor at the European School of
Osteopathy (ESO) in Maidstone, was sentenced to 18 months for a
string of indecency charges over a 12-year period.
When men and boys went to see Piraino with simple complaints such
as a headache or a knee injury, he would tell them to strip naked
then touch and fondle their genitals.
He denied all wrongdoing, but a jury found him guilty on five
counts of sexual activity with a child and a further five of
Jailing Piraino at Guildford Crown Court, Judge Michael Addison
said his crimes represented “a gross breach of trust”.
He now faces being struck off by the General Osteopathic
Samantha Cohen, prosecuting, said Piraino, a married father of two
young daughters, sexually abused five patients aged 13 to 31,
between 1998 and 2010.
The offences were committed at the ESO’s Boxley House academic
site; at Body Balance in Romford, Essex and the Westway Clinic in
Miss Cohen said the first person abused by Piraino, a 31-year-old,
complained of back problems.
“He was told to strip down to his boxer shorts,” she said, adding
that the complainant was surprised that Piraino’s treatment focused
on his groin area.
Another male student sought treatment and was told he needed to get
an erection to check for possible testicular cancer.
After accusations by two teenagers, Piraino was suspended by the
General Osteopathic Council, sparking complaints from other
Piraino, who was arrested in June 2011, denied any inappropriate or
Miss Cohen said a search of the defendant’s computers found that he
was in the habit of accessing adult gay porn web sites, which he
would look at while pleasuring himself, often between client
sessions at work.
Mr Selva Ramasamy, defending, said Piraino, of Redhill in Surrey,
had been a man of previous good character and a stalwart of his
He added: “He has lost his status within the community and his
Piraino will be put on the Sex Offenders Register.
Adrian Barnes, principal at The European School of Osteopathy, said
Piraino was a student at the ESO from 1992-1996 before becoming a
member of the teaching faculty.
He said: “We at the ESO were shocked and concerned to learn of the
offences committed by Mr Piraino at the Boxley House academic
“We are not aware of any similar allegations and/or offences having
been committed at our teaching clinic in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone,
where members of the public are treated.
“Our policies, processes and procedures are subject to regular
review and have been developed considerably over the last
“In light of the offences reported in court, we are, however,
reviewing these again to minimise further the chances of such
events ever happening in the future.
“We have also offered anyone currently involved with the school,
whom has been affected by the case, the opportunity to speak
confidentially with the ESO welfare officer and will provide such
ongoing support as may be required.”
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