Closing arguments in trial of Calgary psychiatrist accused of sex assault

CALGARY – An end is in sight in the lengthy trial of a prominent Calgary forensic psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting several of his court-appointed male patients.

Dr. Aubrey Levin, 73, is accused of sexually assaulting nine of his patients, all of whom were assigned to him through the courts between 1999 and 2010.

His lawyer, Chris Archer, is set to deliver final arguments to the jury of seven men and four women today, while Crown prosecutors Bill Wister and Dallas Sopko are to get their final opportunity on Tuesday.

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley is to give her final instructions to the jury on Friday.

Levin was charged in September 2010 after one of his patients came forward and provided officers with secret videos he recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.

The videos, played in court shortly after the trial began in October, show Levin undoing the man’s belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.

The patient, identified only as R.B. in court, was on probation at the time the videos were taken and had been ordered by a court to see Levin twice a month.

The man said he had told authorities about previous assaults and no one believed him, so he bought a spy camera and brought it to his appointments.

After Levin was arrested, other former patients came forward with abuse allegations.

The only time the jury saw Levin speak was in his videotaped statement to police after his arrest.

Levin claimed he was doing medical procedures on the patients to help them with sexual dysfunctions.

Another doctor testified, however, that what Levin was doing was not an accepted medical technique.

Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings. Most of his alleged victims had been ordered to see him by a judge.

Levin served briefly as regional director for the federal Psychiatric Centre Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta.

The trial has been fraught with delays.

A hearing was held before the trial began last fall to determine if Levin was mentally competent to stand trial.

Levin fired his original defence team in early November and then briefly represented himself before finally hiring Archer as his lawyer.

The delays raised the spectre of a mistrial over concerns that the jurors wouldn’t be able to continue sitting months past the originally scheduled end date.