Canada
Jail molesting Calgary doc up to 8 years, Crown argues

Dr. Aubrey Levin waits for a train at the platform near Court of Queens bench where he was found guilty on three counts of sexual assault and not guilty on two counts.

Credits: Mike Drew/Calgary Sun/QMI Agency

KEVIN MARTIN | QMI AGENCY

CALGARY -- Molesting three psychiatric patients, including two sent to him by court order, was "an extreme breach of trust" by Dr. Aubrey Levin, a Crown attorney said Wednesday.

Crown lawyer Dallas Sopko said that factor, combined with the psychological harm Levin caused his victims, warranted a sentence of up to eight years for the disgraced doctor.

But defence counsel Chris Archer said Levin's conduct in fondling the genitals of three male patients amounted to nothing more than minor sexual assaults.

Archer conceded Levin was in a position of trust over the three patients, but said the acts themselves were not serious.

"You have to decide whether these are major, or minor sexual assaults," he told Justice Donna Shelley. "You're looking at minor sexual assaults with the aggravating feature of a position of trust."

The lawyer said Levin's punishment should be in the range of 90 days or less, a term which could be served on weekends if applied for.

"These are minor, Dr. Levin is in the intermittent range," he said.

Under the Criminal Code, any sentence over 90 days has to be served as straight time.

Levin, 74, was convicted late Monday of three of nine charges he sexually assaulted male patients, many of whom came into contact with him as a result of court-ordered psychiatric treatment.

He was acquitted on two other charges, while the jury was unable to reach a consensus on four others, leading to mistrials on those.

The doctor's three victims read statements to the court outlining the impact his abuse has had on them, including one who spoke from the prisoner's box as he is in custody on his own charges.

Before the sentencing hearing began, Sopko asked if that victim could be allowed to sit unshackled in the court gallery.

That proposition was rejected by Shelley.

In seeking leniency for Levin, Archer noted the septuagenarian would not do well in jail.

Among the letters of support for the doctor was one from his rabbi, Yisroel Miller.

"A prison term would be a death sentence for him," Miller said, in the note read in court by Archer.

But his victims weren't as sympathetic.

"The (court) people that I was to trust were the ones that ordered me to ... get help, instead, you destroyed me," said the victim whose spy watch video triggered charges against Levin.

The doctor remains free pending Shelley's decision Thursday.

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