Closing arguments in trial of Calgary psychiatrist accused of sex assault
Former court-appointed psychiatrist Aubrey Levin, left, who is accused of sexually assaulting 10 of his patients, leaves court in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 6:44AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 1:28PM EST
CALGARY -- The lawyer for a Calgary psychiatrist charged with sexually assaulting a number of court-appointed patients is taking aim at the main Crown witness.
Dr. Aubrey Levin, 73, is charged with assaulting nine of his patients.
The allegations came to light in 2010 after one of his patients came forward with secret videos he 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.
Lawyer Chris Archer said Monday the witness is a petty criminal who was setting up Levin to pursue a lawsuit and what happened was consensual.
In his final arguments, Archer told the jury that other patients jumped on the bandwagon after the first charge was laid.
The patient, identified only as R.B. in court, was on probation at the time the videos were taken and had been ordered by a court 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.
After Levin was arrested, other former patients came forward with abuse allegations.
The only time the jury saw Levin speak was in his videotaped statement to police after his arrest.
Levin claimed he was doing medical procedures on the patients to help them with sexual dysfunctions.
Another doctor testified, however, that what Levin was doing was not an accepted medical technique.
Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings. Most of his alleged victims had been ordered to see him by a judge.
Levin served briefly as regional director for the federal Psychiatric Centre Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta.
Crown prosecutors Bill Wister and Dallas Sopko are to make their final arguments in the case on Tuesday.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Donna Shelley is to give her final instructions to the jury on Friday.
The trial has been fraught with delays.
A hearing was held before the trial began last fall to determine if Levin was mentally competent to stand trial.
Levin fired his original defence team in early November and then briefly represented himself before finally hiring Archer as his lawyer.
The delays raised the spectre of a mistrial over concerns that the jurors wouldn't be able to continue sitting months past the originally scheduled end date.
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