Marmion: Brothers accused of sexual assault allowed to return to restricted naturopathy work

Naturopath Mauricio Bascunan Cabrera at a previous court appearance.  Picture: Mark Donaldson.
Naturopath Mauricio Bascunan Cabrera at a previous court appearance. Picture: Mark Donaldson.

TWO brothers accused of sexually assaulting female patients while working at a naturopath clinic in Marmion have been allowed to go back to work.

Former West Coast Natural Therapy Clinic owners Rodrigo Bascunan Cabrera (40) and Mauricio Bascunan Cabrera (36) appeared in Joondalup Magistrates Court yesterday to request their bail conditions be changed to allow them to practise again.

Mauricio, of Edgewater, first fronted court on 11 charges of unlawful and indecent assault and then again in August on another 28 counts of the same assault and two counts of sexual penetration without consent, allegedly committed between 2008 and 2017.

He was first allowed to continue practising while under supervision but after the second set of charges, was banned completely.

Rodrigo, of Palmyra, is facing four counts of sexual penetration without consent and four counts of unlawful and indecent assault, allegedly committed between 2012 and 2017, and was also banned from practising.

Appearing together on Wednesday, the brothers’ lawyers requested they be allowed to return to work because the families were experiencing financial difficulties and the “very real prospect of personal bankruptcy”.

They suggested their practise could be limited to male patients only, with all allegations relating to just female patients, meaning there would be no risk to men being treated.

They also requested the condition not to contact past or current clients be changed.

Mauricio’s lawyer said many patients had been “reaching out to support” him and if they weren’t complainants, there should be no reason not to contact them because they would be needed to help build a defence.

The third request was to reduce the amount of times they were required to report to their local police station, which was currently three times a week.

The police prosecutor said they would oppose all changes to the bail conditions.

She said victims were still coming forward, with one being spoken to as recently as Monday, and if they needed employment, they could find it in a different industry.

Magistrate Deen Potter asked the brothers to return the next morning to give him time to consider the requests.

This morning Mr Potter reiterated that an accused person was “entitled to the presumption of innocence” and “entitled to liberty”.

He said the investigation could take up to two years to resolve, which was a “long time for an individual to be deprived of any opportunity to earn an income”.

“The prosecution says find another field of employment but I have no information that they have any other skills to offer,” he said.

He said the brothers had no prior records and granted permission to return to work but restricted to male patients only.

He said they must keep a detailed record of names, addresses and phone numbers for all clients that could be surrendered to police for checks.

Work will be limited to their own practices, which for Mauricio will be Monos de la Fierra Natural Therapy, and for Rodrigo will be Machi Natural Therapies, with West Coast Natural Therapy Clinic now closed.

They are not permitted to contact any prosecution witnesses or female patients other than via legal representation and reporting to the police station was reduced to two days a week.

Mauricio has pleaded not guilty to all 41 charges and will next appear in Joondalup court for a police committal mention on November 12.

Rodrigo has not yet been required to plea and will next appear on November 21.

The brothers, of Chilean descent, are also not allowed to apply for a passport or be within 2km of Perth international or domestic airports.

There is also a personal undertaking and surety of $10,000 for Mauricio and $50,000 for Rodrigo.