Public Statement in Relation to Mr Zhenchong Shen

28 Jan 2020

The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission conducted an investigation into the conduct of unregistered health practitioner, Mr Zhenchong Shen (Mr Shen) and finds that Mr Shen has breached clause 3(1) of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Practitioners – Public Health Regulation 2012, in that he failed to provide care in a safe and ethical manner when: 

Mr Shen was working as a qualified massage therapist employed at Sunny International Service Co located at shop 6/250 Pitt Street Sydney NSW. 

On 5 June 2017, during the course of providing a massage treatment to Patient A, Mr Shen assaulted Patient A on three occasions and at the time of these assaults committed acts of indecency on Patient by A rubbing her genitals (2 occasions) and rubbing her breasts (1 occasion).

On 5 June 2017 Patient A attended Sydney City Police Station and reported the assault to NSW Police. 

On 7 June 2017 NSW Police attended the Pitt Street premises of Sunny International Service Co and spoke to Mr Shen.  Mr Shen was cautioned and placed under arrest.

Mr Shen agreed to take part in an electronically recorded interview, during which he denied committing any assault with an act of indecency on Patient A. 

On 12 September 2018 Mr Shen appeared before His Honour Justice Williams of the District Court NSW and pleaded guilty to three charges of Assault with act of indecency T2.

On 14 February 2019 Mr Shen appeared before His Honour Justice King at a sentencing hearing and was subsequently sentenced on 5 April 2019.  Mr Shen was sentenced to a three year Community Corrections Order commencing 5 April 2019.

Given the circumstances of the breaches of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners - Public Health Regulation 2012, the Commission is satisfied that Mr Shen poses a risk to the health and safety of the public. 

In his role as massage therapist Mr Shen must provide massage services in a safe and ethical manner.  Mr Shen is afforded significant trust by patients due to the intimate nature of the treatment which usually requires patients to be partially clothed.  Mr Shen abused the trust afforded to him by committing three counts of assault with an act of indecency on Patient A.  The conduct of Mr Shen was opportunistic and demonstrated a blatant disregard for the health and wellbeing of Patient A, therefore constituting a significant breach of the Code of Conduct.  

The Commission therefore makes the following prohibition order:

Mr Zhenchong Shen, a massage therapist from Burwood NSW, is permanently prohibited from providing any health services, either in paid employment or voluntarily, to any person.

For the purposes of this order ‘a health service’ carries the same meaning as defined under section 4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993

The Commission will make the finalised Statement of Decision publicly available under section 41B(3)(c) of the Act.

The Commission will notify the relevant professional bodies and associations including the Association of Massage Therapists (AMT) and the Massage Association of Australia (MAA) pursuant to section 41b(3) (b) of the Act.

The Commission has removed from this Statement of Decision material which it considers to be confidential information pursuant to section 41B(5) of the Act.  


Further Information

 For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.