Ottawa doctor pleads guilty to sexual assault, voyeurism charges

An Ottawa doctor has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and secretly videorecording dozens of his patients over nearly 30 years.

Dr. Vincent Nadon will spend the next 7 years in prison

Dr. Vincent Nadon of Chelsea, Que., had most recently been practising family medicine at the University of Ottawa Health Services Clinic until he was barred. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod/CBC)

An Ottawa doctor has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting and secretly videorecording dozens of his patients over nearly 30 years and will spend the next seven years in prison. 

Asked for his plea in an Ottawa courtroom Wednesday, Dr. Vincent Nadon responded "guilty," then sat in the prisoner's box with his head down as the Crown read details about how each victim was secretly recorded while undressing for medical appointments with him.

The first charges of voyeurism and sexual assault against Nadon were laid in January, after a woman complained she had been filmed without her permission during a medical examination.

Court heard she confronted Nadon when she discovered a phone recording her, and that he told her it was for training purposes.

Additional victims

In February, police charged him with 10 more counts of sexual assault involving 10 more women.

And in May, police announced that 40 more women had come forward, leading to 43 additional sexual assault charges and 40 more voyeurism charges.

Heading into Wednesday's proceedings, Nadon faced a total of more than 90 charges. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 of them.

The Crown told court Wednesday that many of the victims were new Canadians, and that the crimes dated from late 1990 to January 2018.

Broken trust

Several women who read victim impact statements in court Wednesday said they were outraged to find out their trust had been so blatantly broken, and some said they no longer trusted medical professionals. One woman said she felt guilty she had not come forward sooner, because she might have spared subsequent victims the same experience.

The Crown said Nadon would often position his victims or move their clothes so they would be more visible to the camera.  

The Crown and defence presented a joint sentening recommendation of eight years in prison, less one year for the time Nadon already served. 

Nadon apologizes

In court, Nadon apologized to his victims and acknowledged he needs treatment for what he called his "problem."

"I recognize what I am and what I have done, and I'm deeply ashamed and regretful. I'm profoundly sorry," Nadon said.

He will have to submit a DNA sample and can have no contact with any of the victims in the case. 

He had practised most recently at the University of Ottawa Health Services Clinic before he was barred. Nadon is from Chelsea, Que.

Shae Greenfield, a spokesperson for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, confirmed the conviction means Nadon's licence will be revoked. 

Civil suit remains 

Nadon and the University of Ottawa still face a $210 million lawsuit from several victims. 

The lawyer representing victims in the case said in a statement they were pleased to see the criminal charges resolved, but there are larger issues that need to be addressed.

"Dr. Nadon is responsible, but the University of Ottawa ... must also be held accountable for giving him the opportunity to hurt so many women and for such a long period of time. Our clients intend to hold them responsible as well," said lawyer Candace Mak in an email.