Toronto doctor who sexually assaulted sedated women to serve rest of sentence in community

TORONTO — An anesthesiologist who sexually assaulted 21 sedated women during their surgeries at a north Toronto hospital will serve the remainder of his sentence in the community but is barred from contacting any of his victims.

The Parole Board of Canada is also requiring that Dr. George Doodnaught follow a treatment plan for sexual deviancy and report any relationships with women while on statutory release.

Read more: George Doodnaught, Toronto doctor convicted of sexually assaulting patients, loses appeal

Since his crimes were carried out in the workplace, the board says Doodnaught must also obtain approval from his parole supervisor before seeking or engaging in any paid or volunteer work.

In a written decision issued this week, the board says the doctor also is prohibited from going into Durham Region and part of Toronto.

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Statutory release is the process under which federal offenders who have served 2/3 of a fixed-length sentence are allowed out of prison under supervision. It does not end their sentence, but instead allows them to serve what is left of their sentence in the community.

Read more: Toronto Doctor who sexually assaulted sedated patients ‘not credible:’ parole board says

Unlike full and day parole, statutory release isn’t determined by the parole board but is laid out under law.

Doodnaught was arrested in March 2010 and given a 10-year sentence in 2013 for sexually assaulting women 25 to 75 years old over a four-year period.

During trial, court heard the upper bodies of his semi-conscious victims were hidden by draping, allowing him to sexually assault them in various ways without being seen by the rest of the surgical team. His appeal of conviction and sentence was rejected.

Doodnaught sought full and day parole last year but was denied by the parole board after it found he showed little insight into the trauma he inflicted on his victims.

Read more: Judge who convicted Toronto anesthesiologist of sex assaults ignored evidence: lawyers

The panel noted at the time that he denied committing the offences and blamed the anesthetics for the patients’ belief that they had been assaulted.

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“In some cases, you manipulated the victims into believing that they had initiated the sexual contact or that they had engaged you in explicit sexual conversation,” it said last year.

Doodnaught told the board he used a technique of pinching the abdomens and breasts of female patients to determine how sedated they were, but the panel said it found his explanations not credible.

The father of five worked as an anesthesiologist for more than three decades until his arrest.

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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