Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency - Occupational therapist banned for indecently dealing with a child
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Occupational therapist banned for indecently dealing with a child

05 Jun 2024

An occupational therapist has had their registration cancelled and been disqualified from reapplying for three years after being convicted of indecently dealing with a child of or over the age of 13 years and under the age of 16 years.

Jerome Michael Yap was an occupational therapy student and about five years older than the complainant when the offences occurred in 2015 and 2016. Mr Yap met the complainant through a church youth group and the sexual offences were committed at the complainant’s home.

In February 2018, Mr Yap became a registered health practitioner and was employed as an occupational therapist until March 2021, when he was charged with four counts of indecently dealing with a child.

The Occupational Therapy Board of Australia took immediate action in April 2021 to suspend Mr Yap’s registration. Mr Yap pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment.

In their decision of 19 April 2024, the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal (the tribunal) found Mr Yap’s conduct constituted professional misconduct, even though the offences occurred before Mr Yap was a registered health practitioner.

The tribunal stated that ‘[Mr Yap’s] conduct, whether occurring in connection with the occupational therapy profession or not, is inconsistent with [Mr Yap] being a fit and proper person to hold registration.’

The tribunal ordered that Mr Yap be:

  • reprimanded;
  • have his registration cancelled;
  • be disqualified from applying for registration for a period of 36 months from the date of the order;
  • prohibited from providing any health service to persons under the age of 18 during his period of disqualification; and
  • ordered to pay the Board’s costs.

Mr Yap made an early guilty plea to the criminal charges and cooperated with the Board’s investigation. The tribunal noted that Mr Yap had undergone psychotherapeutic intervention in respect of the offences and has demonstrated insight, contrition and remorse.

Including his suspension following the Board’s immediate action in 2021, Mr Yap will be out of practice for a total of six years before being able to reapply for registration.

Read the full decision on the eCourts Portal of Western Australia.

Page reviewed 5/06/2024