Credits: REUTERS/Peter Andrews
WINNIPEG -- A former city chiropractor sentenced to prison in the ‘90s for fondling female patients is facing new criminal allegations stemming from treatments he offered to women and a teen girl during his new career as a “holistic therapist.”
Yvan Breton, 62, was freed by Judge Tim Preston last Wednesday on $2,000 cash bail and several other conditions to await trial on five counts of sexual assault.
Police and the Crown allege Breton inappropriately touched or groped five patients at various different points between March 2008 and March 2010.
He is presumed innocent and the allegations are unproven. No publication ban was ordered at the bail hearing.
After being stripped of his chiropractor’s licence in 1997, Breton at some point embarked on a new career as a practitioner of a holistic therapy called “BodyTalk,” court heard.
The alternative treatment is described online as a way to “re-synchronize” a person’s “energy systems” and allow the body to heal itself.
Winnipeg police sex crimes unit officers began investigating Breton after several of the alleged victims came forward in April 2010 to complain about his conduct during sessions.
One of the five told police she believed Breton was still a licenced chiropractor when she went to him for treatment, Preston heard. Some disclosed being left “traumatized” by his conduct,” prosecutor Sean Sass said.
A warrant was issued for the charges in 2010, but Breton -- described as living “off the grid” outside of Winnipeg -- couldn’t be found until he was pulled over for a traffic stop recently, Sass told Preston.
When police interviewed him, Breton “realized that he had been subconsciously slapping female clients and colleagues’ buttocks since he began working as a chiropractor in the ‘70s,” Sass said he disclosed.
The Crown requested Breton be detained pending trial, largely due to his prior criminal record.
In 1995, Breton was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for five counts of sexual assault. Media reports at the time said the convictions related to inappropriate touching of women between 1986-89 at his former chiropractic clinic.
Sass said Breton was again handed a prison term of two years after being convicted of more sex-related and fraud charges in 1997.
Breton continues to do “human energy-related” work out of his rural Manitoba home and on an out-call basis, his defence lawyer said. Preston cautioned Breton to ensure none of the treatments break the law in any way.
“You best be on your best behaviour,” Preston said.
Breton’s case returns to court Oct. 29. Preston ordered him to make personal appearances at all of his court dates.