Regina doctor jailed for sex assaults

A Regina doctor is going to jail for two years less a day for sexually assaulting two of his patients.

A Regina doctor is going to jail for two years less a day for sexually assaulting two of his patients.

Edward Poon will also be required to give a DNA sample and will be listed on Canada's sex offender registry for 10 years as part of the sentence issued by Queen's Bench Judge Ted Malone on Wednesday.

Sentences under two years are served in a provincial jail.

Following a three-week trial, Poon, 60, was convicted of two counts of sexual assault but was acquitted of four other counts, involving four other former patients.

The Crown had requested a three-year sentence that would be served in a federal prison.

However, the judge said there were mitigating factors, such as the doctor's diagnosis of bipolar disorder, the fact that he is getting psychiatric treatment, and that the crimes happened over a short period of time in the spring of 2008.

Malone also noted the women who were assaulted testified that they have been permanently affected by what the doctor did.

During the trial, witnesses said Poon touched their genitals inappropriately during exams. Testifying in his own defence, Poon, who no longer practises medicine, denied the allegations.

Crown prosecutor Sonya Guiboche said she was satisfied with the sentence.

"Justice Malone has imposed a significant term of custody," she said. "Dr. Poon is also bound by the sex offenders' registry, which will require him to do a number of things for a significant period of time."

Defence lawyer Brian Banilevic has filed a notice of appeal with the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.

"There were a number of adverse rulings made and there were concerns regarding the instructions to the jury," he said.

Poon will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Among those at the sentencing were the victims in the sexual assault convictions.

"I feel vindicated," said one woman, who added it is the guilty verdict, not the sentence, that's important.

"Even if it was a life sentence, it wouldn't be enough," she said. She also said she was glad she had to opportunity to read her victim impact statement in court.

"He didn't get to hear how he ruined our lives up until that point, she said. "I wanted to read it in court so he would have to listen. He'd have to know how he affected me."