Calgary psychiatrist gets 5 years in prison for sexually assaulting patients
Published Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:16PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:38PM EST
CALGARY -- A judge has sentenced a psychiatrist who molested three court-appointed patients to five years in prison.
Justice Donna Shelley said Dr. Aubrey Levin exploited his patients in a "predatory and repetitive manner."
"It was a horrible violation of the trust of these three patients," the Queen's Bench justice said in handing down her decision Thursday.
The Calgary psychiatrist's actions were an "extreme breach of a particularly vulnerable victim," Shelley said.
Levin was convicted on three counts of sexual assault by a jury earlier this week.
The Crown had asked for six to eight years for a man it said was a predator who broke his patients' trust.
The defence had argued the 74-year-old would suffer in prison and should be sentenced to 60 to 90 days, to be served on weekends.
The patients had been assigned to Levin between 1999 and 2010 by the justice system.
Levin, who had remained out on bail since the verdict Monday night, was taken into custody after the sentence was read.
He didn't bat an eye.
One of the victims offered his reaction outside the courtroom.
"This isn't just for me, but for the victims that have been silenced," he said. "This is much bigger than me."
Levin initially faced charges involving nine different men, but was found guilty on three counts and acquitted on two others. The jury could not reach a verdict on four of the charges.
The allegations against him came to light in 2010 after one of his patients came forward with secret videos he had recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.
The videos, played in court last fall, show Levin undoing the man's belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.
The patient, identified only as R.B. in court, was on probation at the time the videos were taken and had been ordered to see Levin twice a month.
The man said he had told authorities about previous assaults and no one believed him, so he bought a spy camera and brought it to his appointments.
"It seemed hopeless," R.B. said in one of three victim impact statements presented to the court Wednesday.
"I had nowhere to turn."
Another said he hoped Levin would "suffer as much as I and everyone else has."
Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings.
He served briefly as regional director for the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta.