Several more women have come forward to complain about the actions of a Saint John doctor and the number of sex-related charges could soon increase, a court heard on Wednesday.
Lawyers for a Saint John doctor facing a series of sexual assault allegations were in court on Wednesday attempting to suspend a disciplinary hearing into the physician’s actions.
Dr. Alan Cockeram is facing nine sexual assault allegations dating back to 1987. Six of the doctor’s patients have filed complaints with the College of Physicians and Surgeons related to "unnecessary or inappropriate examination."
Catherine Fawcett, the doctor’s lawyer, told the court the police will soon lay 12 new charges against her client, pushing the total to 21.
She said the College of Physicians and Surgeons has received complaints about Cockeram from 19 people.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 17 on the criminal charges facing Cockeram.
However, the New Brunswick College of Physicians and Surgeons is planning a medical discipline hearing, which requires Cockeram to defend himself against the allegations.
The doctor's lawyers are arguing the disciplinary hearing could contaminate his criminal defence so they want it delayed.
John Barry, the lawyer for the College of Physicians and Surgeons, opposed any suspension of Cockeram’s discipline proceedings in court on Wednesday.
Barry said Cockeram could lose his licence even if he's acquitted of criminal charges because the standards are different.
"That should not be curtailed," says Barry of medical discipline procedures.
The Horizon Health Network announced in February it had stripped Cockeram of his privileges to treat female patients at any of its facilities.