Winnipeg doctor arrested for sex assault on young patient in hospital

A doctor has been arrested for sexually assaulting a young patient at a Winnipeg hospital.

A doctor has been arrested for sexually assaulting a teenaged male patient at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg.

According to police, the patient was allegedly assaulted on two occasions between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. on June 15. Authorities would not provide an exact age for the victim, only saying he is between 13 and 17 years old.

Walid Abdelhamid, 29, a resident doctor at the hospital is in police custody and has been charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, and sexual exploitation.

He has also been suspended from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba has been notified, said WRHA spokesperson Heidi Graham.

"It was not a sexual assault, per se, where there was any violence against the individual. However, they were sexual advances that were not welcome," said Const. Jaqueline Chaput. "They definitely went against what this youth wanted."

The teen patient reported the incidents to other hospital personnel on duty at the time. Police were notified and the sex crimes unit immediately launched an investigation.

"The patient's parents were also immediately contacted and full disclosure was made to them," Graham said.

The parents are pleading for privacy and have asked that no more information on the youth be released, she added.

"It's unimaginable that [any doctor] would cross this boundary into sexual activity with children that they are supposedly looking after," said Roz Prober of the children's rights advocacy group Beyond Borders.

Police are not aware of any other similar cases but encourage anyone else who may have been victimized to contact them.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the University of Manitoba issued a media release stating that Abdelhamid is a postgraduate medical resident who is sponsored under a visa trainee agreement program with international partners.

Upon notification of the incident and charges, the university's division of postgraduate medical education (PGME) immediately suspended Abdelhamid's residency.

"The university will take further action as required upon the resolution of the criminal investigation," the release stated, also noting that all PGME students undergo a criminal record check and national child abuse registry check prior to admission to a residency program.