British Columbia

Chiropractor with history of sexually assaulting patients suspended from practice again

College cites 'real risk to the public' as it investigates complaint against Victoria's Michael Buna

March 06, 2018

Dr. Michael Buna's registration was suspended by the college on Jan. 8. (YouTube)

A Victoria chiropractor who was allowed to return to work after being convicted of sexually assaulting multiple patients has been suspended once again in the face of a new complaint.

The nature of the latest allegation against Dr. Michael Buna hasn't been made public, but the College of Chiropractors of B.C. said "there was a real risk to the public" if it didn't suspend Buna's professional registration while it investigates the complaint.

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It's unusual for a healthcare worker to be barred from practice before an investigation is complete, but the college invoked a section of the Health Professions Act allowing for "extraordinary action" to protect the public.

Dr. Michael Buna was required to have a chaperone present for all appointments with female patients. (YouTube)

About a decade ago, Buna was convicted of sexually assaulting three female patients. He received a conditional sentence and the college reprimanded him, barred him from practice for two years and required him to pay $38,738 in investigation costs.

He was allowed to return to work in October 2012, but needed to have a chaperone in the room for all appointments with female patients.

That condition was still in place on Jan. 8, when the college suspended Buna's registration once again.

College registrar Michelle Da Roza said she couldn't reveal any further information while the investigation is underway. None of the allegations in the complaint have been proven.

Buna was first charged with one count of sexual assault in 2005, but more charges were laid after Victoria police set up a confidential tip line specifically dedicated to alleged victims of the chiropractor.

During his trial, a provincial court judge heard that Buna had fondled breasts, caressed buttocks, lain across a patient's chest and pressed his groin against her, according to court documents.

After he was found guilty, one of the victims filed suit against him, claiming the assault led to anxiety, depression and grief. Buna filed a handwritten response that was just four lines long, alleging the woman had "false memory syndrome."

He eventually settled with the lawsuit out of court.

Buna currently runs a clinic with his wife Joan, who is a pilates instructor. He declined to comment on his suspension when contacted by CBC on Monday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bethany Lindsay
Journalist

Reach me at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.

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