Psychiatrist charged with 20+ counts of sexual assault out on bail, will face jury; license suspended

A former prominent Calgary forensic psychiatrist has chosen to face a judge and jury on charges of sexually assaulting 21 former male patients.

Defence lawyer Alain Hepner made the election today, then booked a month-long preliminary hearing in provincial court to start on June 1.

Police initially charged Aubrey Levin with one count of sexual assault on March 23 in relation to the initial complaint by a former male patient.

Then 20 other men came forward with similar allegations and charges were laid in late July, following a four-month investigation sparked by the initial complainant.

All of the complainants are from the Calgary area – and some are currently in jail, police said at the time.

It is alleged the sex assaults took place during court-ordered psychiatric assessments or counselling sessions inside Levin’s office at the Peter Lougheed Hospital or examination rooms.

Levin’s main role in the court system was providing psychiatric assessments of convicted offenders awaiting sentence.

The allegations against Levin prompted Alberta Justice to review, on behalf of the court, 38 known cases he handled for any indications of impropriety.

The 17 patients whose cases were still in progress when Levin was charged were either reassessed or transferred to another doctor.

Levin is no longer practising, as his licence has been suspended by the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons.

He was first licensed as a psychiatrist in South Africa in 1969, has been out on bail since shortly after his arrest.

One of his bail conditions also forbids him from practising medicine, and he is forbidden to make any contact with the complainants. Levin was also ordered to surrender his passport and can’t leave Canada without permission.

A preliminary hearing is held to determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

Source: Daryl Slade, “Calgary psychiatrist to face judge, jury,” Calgary Herald, 21 September 2010.

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