A Calgary cardiologist has been cleared of allegations he sexually assaulted patients.
Michael Stephen Connelly was charged with one count of sexual assault in May 2022 after a patient came forward to police saying she had been touched inappropriately and without her consent during a 2012 consultation.
Three months later, police announced four more people had come forward alleging sexual assault, and four more charges were laid against Connelly.
In an Alberta Court of Justice decision posted online and dated Feb. 7, Connelly was found not guilty of four allegations of sexually assault.
Justice Allan Fradsham did, however, convict Connelly of assault for hugging and kissing a patient’s cheek without her consent.
He said whether the acts of the hug and kiss constituted a sexual assault “depends on whether, on the whole of the circumstances, the sexual nature of the alleged assault would have been visible to the reasonable observer.”
“There was a non-consensual touching, and that touching constituted the included offence of an assault.”
In regards to another instanse, Fradsham found that Connelly had a stethoscope in his hand when he “reached down the shirt” of an accuser.
“That action is consistent with a proper medical procedure of palpating the apex, which may involve moving a breast,” Fradsham said.
“I am satisfied that there was consent to conduct a medical examination which included palpation of the apex, and the evidence is consistent with any touching of the breast to have been part of such an action.”
Fradsham said he was “suspicious,” but had “reasonable doubt that there was a non-consensual touching.”
Connelly is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday for sentencing on the assault charge.
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