A Yorkton, Sask., doctor charged with six counts of sexual assault has a history of allegations of sexually improper behaviour with patients.
RCMP announced the charges against Mohammed Haque, 72, on Thursday in Yorkton. He was arrested in London, Ont., Feb. 2.
It's alleged there were six victims, all adult women, and that the offenses occurred at the medical facility where Haque worked in Yorkton. The six charges laid are alleged to have happened between 2001 and 2008.
Haque had a history of complaints with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.
The college's legal counsel and associate registrar, Bryan Salte, said Haque is the same doctor they investigated for alleged sexually improper behaviour with patients.
Complaints include inappropriate sexual touching
In 2013, the College investigated Haque and charged him on six counts of unbecoming, improper, unprofessional, or discreditable conduct.
Salte said Haque denied guilt on all of the charges, and the matter was resolved when he agreed to give up his licence and to not practise medicine in the future. As a result, there was no hearing and no findings by the College.
"I'm glad that we were able to [do] what we did when we did it," Salte said. "And glad we were able to deal with this in a way that Dr. Haque is not in practice any longer. That's our job. That's what we did."
Documents from the College's investigation describe some of the graphic offenses alleged by patients.
One female person in May 2007 went to Haque complaining of bladder discomfort and frequency of urination. In June 2007, the same patient said she had vaginal bleeding. In April 2008, Haque allegedly performed a "surgical procedure without adequately explaining the surgery" and did not have "informed consent" from the patient.
It was alleged in the investigation the procedure was not the same as the patient had expected to treat the bladder problem. As a result of the surgery, the woman said "it resulted in a reduction in the size of her vagina and painful intercourse."
"I'm glad that we were able to [do] what we did when we did it. And glad we were able to deal with this in a way that Dr. Haque is not in practice any longer. - Bryan Salte, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan
Another woman accused Haque of making "sexualized or sexually-demeaning comments". Haque then allegedly engaged in sexual conduct "by touching her breast or breasts and/or touching her in the region of her genitals other than for the purpose of an appropriate examination."
The complainant alleges Haque then instructed her to turn around, and pressed his body against her buttocks and placed his hand in the region of her genitals "suggesting her boyfriend should touch her there."
15-year investigation going forward
RCMP said their investigation began in 2001 when a woman came forward with a complaint alleging sexual assault. In total, Staff Sgt. Greg Nichol said 12 women have approached officials with similar complaints. Of those women, six separate sexual assault charges have been laid.
Salte said the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan had been in contact with RCMP about Haque over the years.
"In 2011, we contacted them because a particular complainant told us that she had spoken to the RCMP already," Salte said. "So she had spoken to both us and them."
Salte said the College must be careful as to what information it gives to police because it can't be considered a participant in the criminal investigation.
"There are court decisions that say that if we, as a college, effectively become the investigation arm of the police, that it taints both investigations," he said.
"We're also bound by health information privacy legislation, which means that we can't breach patient's health information privacy without their consent."
It would be the same if police asked your doctor for your health information, which Salte said the answer would be "No."
The College is only able to deal with a doctor's licence and his or her ability to practice.
"I can't imagine, with this undertaking, any other regulatory body ever granting Dr. Haque a licence," Salte said. "Certainly, if somebody with that kind of an undertaking was to apply for a licence in Saskatchewan, our answer would be automatically be no."
Haque is scheduled to appear in Yorkton provincial court on Feb. 22.