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Canadian doctor gets 10 years for sexual assault

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | 12:05 PM    

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TORONTO (AP) — A Canadian anaesthesiologist 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 exploited the extraordinarily high degree of trust the patients placed in him and his conduct was "reprehensible in the extreme".

Doodnaught was convicted in November.

He reportedly committed the acts while concealed from other medical staff only by a surgical drape. 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, a 26-year veteran.

They gave generally similar accounts of being kissed and fondled by him, and of having his penis placed in their mouths or hands. The women testified they were conscious enough to be aware of what was happening, but were not able to move their limbs.

An anaesthesiologist since 1981, Doodnaught had worked at North York General for 28 years.

The hospital's chief of staff, Dr David White, had said at the time of Doodnaught's arrest in March 2010, that it was possible for an anaesthesiologist to be alone with a patient.

Doodnaught's lawyer said he will appeal the convictions.

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