Calgary judge to sentence psychiatrist who molested court-appointed patients

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

CALGARY - A Calgary psychiatrist who molested three of the male patients that were assigned to him by the justice system could be sent to prison today.

Alberta Justice Donna Shelley is wasting little time in proceeding with the sentencing of Dr. Aubrey Levin, after he was convicted of three counts of sexual assault by a jury Monday night.

Sentencing arguments and victim impact statements from his three victims were heard Wednesday in a trial that has dragged on since October.

Crown prosecutor Dallas Sopko said due to the "predatory" and "prolonged" sexual assaults, as well as a breach of trust, a suitable sentence for the 74-year-old would be six-to-eight years in prison.

"The offender clearly acted without regard for the emotional and mental well being of the victims. This was a serious sexual assault repeated over a number of years," he said.

"This case is more aggravating because of the elevated position of trust with a psychiatrist."

Defence counsel Chris Archer suggested that the assaults were minor in nature and Levin should serve a sentence of just 60-to-90 days on weekends.

"He's a frail 74-year-old geriatric who is ill," Archer said.

"He's a high risk in jail."

Levin sat quietly in court during the hearing and had nothing to say in his own defence.

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 patients had been assigned to Levin between 1999 and 2010.

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 to the court.

"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.