The wife of a former Calgary court psychiatrist on trial for sexually assaulting patients is accused of trying to bribe a juror in her husband's case.
Aubrey Levin, 74, is a former forensic psychiatrist who is charged with nine counts of sexual assault against male patients who had been ordered by the courts to see him.
In a letter to Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley, who is presiding over the trial, "Juror No. 3" wrote she was approached on the C-Train platform near the courthouse on Jan. 11 by a woman identified as Erica Levin, Aubrey Levin's wife.
The juror explained that Erica Levin, 69, tried to hand her an envelope full of cash, asking the juror to acquit her husband.
Both Crown and defence agreed that even though the juror had done nothing wrong, it was in the court's best interest to excuse her from the remainder of the trial.
Shelley then cited Erica Levin for contempt, and issued warrants for her arrest and for the seizure of the C-Train surveillance video.
Erica Levin arrested
Erica Levin was arrested at her home without incident and spent the night in a remand cell ahead of facing a bail hearing before Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Ron Stevens the next day. She was kept in the health wing after she collapsed.
As she walked into the courtroom, the couple, married for 45 years, blew kisses at each other.
"My concern is that she is someone hell bent on subverting a jury trial," said Stevens after the defence had made its case for Erica Levin's release.
"Who would have thought anyone would tamper with a jury in the first place?" said Stevens.
He compared her to a suicide bomber who has no regard for his own best interest, and then called Aubrey Levin’s trial "fragile" as a result of this incident. Stevens said the trial is "not a situation where it can afford another body blow."
Crown attorney Brian Holtby argued Erica Levin was at risk of jeopardizing her husband's jury trial, which had already been threatened by delays.
The Crown's case against Erica Levin was strengthened by a Calgary Transit security video that shows the incident on the train platform, Holtby told the court.
At the end of the two-part bail hearing, the judge granted Erica Levin bail because of health concerns detailed in a letter from the Levins' family doctor to defence lawyer Allan Fay. The concerns included depression, high blood pressure and lung ailments.
She was placed on 24-hour house arrest. Fay can now apply for the order to be lifted since the jury has been sequestered.
Criminal charges are pending and her contempt hearing has been scheduled for March 4.