8 more patients accuse Winnipeg doctor of sexual assault
Dr. Amir Ravesh 1st charged after patient reported Oct. 19 incident to police
Dr. Amir Ravesh faces another eight charges of sexual assault against eight women age 24 to 69 and Winnipeg police say they believe more people might come forward.
Ravesh, who was charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old patient on Oct. 19, was re-arrested on Thursday and charged with eight additional counts of sexual assault. He is being held in custody, Winnipeg police said Friday.
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"Our detectives received a large number of calls from individuals after that press release," Const. Jay Murray said at a news conference Friday, referring to the news of the arrest in October.
"These charges that were laid yesterday are a result of those investigations. We do believe there may still be other victims out there and we encourage anyone with information to contact our sex crimes unit at 204-986-6245."
All nine women said they were sexually assaulted at the same walk-in medical clinic in Elmwood, with the earliest alleged assault dating back to 2013, police said.
The manager for the clinic where Ravesh worked said in a written statement he is co-operating with police.
"We are deeply concerned about the new allegations reported in the media earlier today," Andrew Chubey, a manager with You Medical Centres on Johnson Avenue W., wrote Friday. The clinic has been closed until a new doctor can be hired.
"We commend the individuals who have come forward, and encourage others to come forward if they have been mistreated. Our thoughts are with anyone who has suffered harm. We were unaware of the additional allegations until the latest media reports."
Ravesh, 51, whose full name is Amir Houshang Mazhariravesh, is also charged with obtaining sexual services for consideration.
The 19-year-old who first went to police said when she went to the walk-in on Oct. 19, a doctor she had seen before examined her in an inappropriate manner, escalating to a "serious sexual assault," police said.
Worried about youth
The university student told CBC News she feared no one would believe her, but she reported the sexual assault because she was worried about youth in the community.
"I just thought it would've been so selfish of me to just keep this inside. Because what if this happened to somebody else, and I just saw this on the news? I'd feel terrible, like I could've prevented that," she said.
Murray said the investigation isn't over and it's possible the announcement of more charges against Ravesh will encourage more people to report sexual assaults.
"We take every allegation seriously," he said.
"We're hoping that perhaps with a total of nine women that have come forward, that this encourages anyone else that has gone through something similar to this, either with this individual or any others, to come forward and contact our sex crimes unit."
Ravesh had served as secretary for the Manitoba College of Family Physicians board of directors up until his arrest in October.
A spokesperson for the organization said he voluntarily stepped down from the position and no longer works for the board.
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba confirmed Friday Ravesh is no longer practising medicine in Manitoba.
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with files from Laura Glowacki and Erin Brohman