|Reprehensible Canadian doctor jailed for sex assaults
A Canadian anesthesiologist convicted of sexually assaulting 21 sedated women during surgeries was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.
Ontario Superior Court Justice David McCombs said Dr George Doodnaught, 65, exploited the extraordinarily high degree of trust the patients placed in him and his conduct “did enormous damage and was reprehensible in the extreme.''
Many of Doodnaught's victims were in the courtroom, AP reports.
The judge said that in several cases Doodnaught “compounded his victims' sense of violation and humiliation by manipulating them to try to make them believe they were somehow responsible _ that they had initiated sexual contact or had engaged in sexually explicit conversations.''
Though Doodnaught was sentenced to 10 years, he may not spend much time in custody. Doodnaught intends to appeal his convictions, and the Court of Appeal for Ontario is set to hear an application Wednesday to let him out on bail pending the appeal.
One of his victims _ the woman who sparked the investigation _ clapped as he was led away in handcuffs.
The woman went in for a hysterectomy in 2010. During the surgery Doodnaught fondled her breasts, kissed her and put his penis in her mouth, the court found.
When she was in the recovery room, Doodnaught leaned in close to her and said, “As soon as you were out, the first thing you reached for was my...[penis],'' the court found.
Doodnaught's lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said his client was “disappointed'' with the sentence.
“He continues to enjoy widespread support not only with his family but amongst his colleagues, patients,'' Greenspan said outside court.
When Doodnaught was convicted in November, McCombs found the doctor relied on his three decades of operating room experience to avoid detection as he sexually assaulted the sedated women while concealed only by a surgical drape from other medical staff.
The first six assaults were spread over 3 1/2 years and 15 others in the last six months before he was stopped.
All but one of the assaults happened at North York General Hospital in Toronto.
During his trial, most of the 21 victims, between the ages of 25 and 75, took the stand against Doodnaught.