Credits: REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil
Dr. Justin Onzuka had revealed to John that he had inappropriately touched patients who were under anesthesia.
“John couldn’t keep that secret,” so he reported the disturbing information to us, recalled Sgt. Helena Pereira, the investigating officer at Hamilton Regional Police Force’s sexual assault unit in 2008. John’s identity cannot be revealed because he’s a confidential informant.
“Once Dr. Onzuka divulged what he had done, the CI couldn’t sit on this information because it was more important to protect the victims,” Pereira said, Friday.
Search warrants executed at Onzuka’s Mississauga residence, his parents’ home and his vehicle netted two key pieces of evidence.
Police executed the warrants simultaneously because they knew Onzuka was in the process of moving, so he couldn’t bury the incriminating evidence.
One was a journal where Onzuka logged his inappropriate contacts with patients, identifying them only with initials but giving other details. And the second piece was a seven-minute videotape of a sedated, unconscious Crohn’s disease surgical patient whom Onzuka had stripped naked and whose eyelids he had rolled back in the fall of 1997.
“She had no idea this had happened to her, so we brought this to her. She was a normal, traditional European-raised woman,” said Pereira, who uncovered the woman’s identity partly because the woman wore a yarn necklace - signifying good luck from a saint - during the operation.
By checking hospital records, Pereira identified and located the woman, who had also dated Onzuka once after the operation.
Onzuka revealed during a four-hour-long police interview in August 2009 that he was sexually attracted to women either unconscious or with their eyes rolled back and masturbated to the point of injury, Pereira said.
Onzuka, who pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault against vulnerable patients in December 2010, was sentenced last year to 16 months - 10 months more than both Crown attorney Brian Adsett and his lawyer Jenny Stephenson jointly proposed.
Justice Marjoh Agro balked at the six months and instead imposed a 16-month penalty in April 2011.
The doctor had “incorporated the victim’s video into a collage of other pornographic images taken from commercial films,” ranging from Three’s Company videos to Japanese films where actresses were either falling asleep or were passed out with their eyes rolled back, said Adsett, who prosecuted him at the criminal trial.
Onzuka is now facing possible revocation of his medical licence as he has been referred to the discipline committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. No date has been set for this hearing.