Doctor accused of repeated sex assaults on patient
Allegedly told victim he needed to see her every month, sexually assaulted her
Warning: The following story includes graphic content.
A Winnipeg doctor is on trial accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a patient under the guise of medical treatment.
The 66-year-old accused, who CBC is not identifying by name, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault for alleged offences committed between 1991 and 1994.
"This is not about medical care, but about a criminal act," Crown attorney Danielle Simard told Justice Karen Simonsen as the trial began Monday.
Court heard the now 44-year-old alleged victim and her family immigrated to Winnipeg from Central America in 1991 and began seeing the doctor later that year.
The woman said she was having irregular periods and the accused provided her with a prescription for birth control.
He said we needed to meet again, just to make sure the pill was working. He said he needed to see me every month.- Alleged victim
"He said we needed to meet again, just to make sure the pill was working," the woman testified. "He said he needed to see me every month."
In the appointments that followed, the woman was asked to take off her clothes before the accused stimulated her vagina, the woman alleged.
The accused, who was not wearing gloves, "told me he had to collect the fluid to make sure I was ovulating," the woman alleged.
The woman alleged the accused also touched her breasts and nipples during the examinations.
The accused told her she was 'built to have multiple orgasms.'- Alleged victim
The woman said the accused kept the overhead lights turned off during the examinations.
"He said he did that to keep me from feeling embarrassment," the woman testified. "He said not to feel bad, it was what he needed to do."
During one appointment, the woman alleged, the accused told her she was "built to have multiple orgasms."
Escalated in 1994, she alleges
The woman said she continued to see the accused "almost every month" until an appointment in the spring of 1994 when he allegedly tried to have sex with her.
The appointment was on a Saturday and the two were alone at the medical clinic, the woman said.
The accused said he wanted to have sex with her "but didn't want to hurt me because he knew I was a virgin," the woman alleged.
The woman testified she was lying on an examination table when the accused unzipped his pants and began rubbing himself on her side.
"I was afraid he was going to rape me and hurt me," the woman said. "I kept on hoping that his [receptionist] would come into the office."
When the accused attempted to kiss the woman, she stood up, collected her clothes and got dressed, she said.
"He kept on pressing himself against me, asking me when was he going to see me again," she said. "I don't think I said anything to him. I left."
That was the last time the woman visited the doctor at his office, but not the last time she saw him, she told court.
Two months after her last appointment, the woman said she and a friend were dropping someone off at the airport when she saw the man and suffered a panic attack. The woman said she and her friend returned to her friend's house where she disclosed the source of her anxiety.
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"I told her that someone had taken advantage of me, had tried to rape me," she said. "She asked me who? I said, 'my doctor.'"
The woman said she was working at St. Vital Centre sometime later when the man showed up on several occasions and told her he wanted to see her again.
The woman moved to Florida in 2000 and stayed there for 10 years before returning to Winnipeg in 2010 with her husband and young children. That's when she filed a complaint against the accused with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba.
Court heard the college conducted an investigation into the allegations and the woman testified at a college hearing.
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The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba website does not show that the doctor has been subjected to any disciplinary action and is still licensed to practice medicine.
Wary of police
The woman filed a complaint with Winnipeg police in 2014. Asked why she didn't contact police sooner, the woman told court her experience growing up in Central America had left her wary of police.
"You don't trust the justice system," the woman said. "My only concept of justice and police was what I saw on television — that it was very public, that everybody would find out."
The woman said she wanted the accused to know what he did to her was wrong.
"He groomed me for many years," the woman told court. "He was so methodical about it, when I look back on it now, and I don't think I was the only victim."
Under cross-examination, defence lawyer Marty Minuk suggested the woman was motivated by money and had wanted to pursue a civil lawsuit against the accused after taking a loss on the sale of their Florida home.