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Ontario doctor's practice restricted after sexual abuse allegations

Being convicted of a sex-related offence in Ontario can not only result in a jail sentence; individuals convicted of sex crimes often face employment difficulties and long-term reputation damage. For example, a medical professional accused of a sex offence could face additional restrictions under the Regulated Health Professions Act.

A 53-year-old doctor in Mississauga is in this situation after admitting that, between 2005 and 2011, he sexually abused as many as 13 female patients by placing either his cheek or mouth on the women's breasts. While he has been allowed to practice medicine again after an eight-month licence suspension, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has restricted his practice to treating males only.

In online reviews, former patients have given high marks to the doctor, who said in testimony before the discipline committee that he was going through a difficult, confusing time in his life when the offences occurred, and that he was occasionally suicidal and unaware of his actions.

A psychiatrist also testified that the nature of the transgressions was not sexual, but rather expressive of an unfulfilled need for familiarity dating back to the man's childhood.

The Regulated Health Profession Act specifies that only certain kinds of serious sexual transgressions should result in the required revocation of a medical licence. However, a disciplinary panel can still impose a licence suspension, along with other restrictions, after certain lesser offences.

The doctor in this case must now post a notice at the entrance to the clinic where he works to inform the public that the doctor "may treat male patients only."

To achieve the best possible resolution of sex offence allegations, accused individuals will need to work with a lawyer to prepare a careful criminal defence. Early preparation is often the key to success in these cases, so anyone facing a sex crime charge should speak with a criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible.