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Court upholds chiropractor’s sex assault conviction

MEDICINE HAT — The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld a sexual assault conviction against a southern Alberta chiropractor.

Dr. Gary Joseph Bourdon admitted he was treating a female patient with one hand while masturbating with the other in June 2011.

He argued in his appeal that it couldn’t be a sexual assault because the two actions weren’t related to each other, but the Appeal Court didn’t buy it.

Bourdon, who is 59, testified during his trial in 2012 that he watched pornography before treating his patient.

The Medicine Hat chiropractor also said his actions were caused by extreme family and financial pressures.

Bourdon was sentenced to 90 days in jail and continues to be on restrictions under the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors that requires him to have an approved female chaperone present when he treats female patients.

In its written decision, the Appeal Court ruled Bourdon’s two actions were not mutually exclusive.

“(Bourdon’s) own evidence shows that he knew that his patient did not consent to treatment with one hand while he masturbated with the other,” the court said.

“Indeed, it was because he knew his patient did not consent to such treatment that he hid it from her.”

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