Ontario's Court of Appeal has denied a bail request by Dr. George Doodnaught, the Toronto anesthesiologist sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting female patients who were undergoing surgery.
Doodnaught is appealing his November conviction on 21 sexual assaults and had asked the judge to free him on bail while he awaits his hearing, which could be almost two years away.
Most of the assaults involved women in the operating room at North York General Hospital. During his trial, the victims testified that Doodnaught, 65, kissed them, fondled their breasts and in some cases, put his penis in their mouth or hand.
In arguing for bail, Doodnaught's lawyer pointed to the fact he had no prior criminal record and 49 letters of support from people in the community. His lawyer had also argued Doodnaught posed no risk of reoffending because his licence is under suspension.
The Crown had argued that the number of victims and seriousness of Doodnaught's crimes means he should not be released while the appeal proceeds.
Doodnaught appeal 'not likely to succeed,' judge says
In making his decision, Justice Harry LaForme ruled that although he does not believe Doodnaught represents a flight risk, his crimes are "very serious" and that his release "would not be in the public interest." The judge also questioned the viability of Doodnaught's appeal.
"From my assessment based on the record before me, his grounds of appeal are weak and not likely to succeed, although some may be arguable," he wrote. "In cases like this, the need for immediate enforcement of the judgment outweighs the need to review the decision. Release, therefore, would not be in the public interest."
You can read the judge's decision below.