Frail senior or sexual predator?
CALGARY — A psychiatrist convicted of sexually assaulting his court-appointed patients was depicted Wednesday as both a frail senior who would suffer in prison and a sexual predator who must be punished.
Dr. Aubrey Levin’s three victims also had a chance to face their attacker.
“Dr. Levin, I’m looking right at you. I want this day to be the beginning of the end,” said one of the victims in a statement to the court.
“I hope you get what you deserve. I hope you suffer as much as I and everyone else has.”
The judge sentence Levin on Thursday morning.
Levin’s defence lawyer said his 74-year-old client would be at high risk in jail because he is frail and in ill health. Chris Archer told a sentencing hearing that Levin should serve a sentence of between 60 and 90 days on weekends.
Levin was found guilty on Monday of sexually assaulting three patients who had been ordered to see him by the courts.
Archer, who said the sexual assaults were only “minor” in nature, read a letter from Levin’s rabbi that said Levin is still respected and loved in the Jewish community.
“His humble manner and complete lack of arrogance endeared him to everyone,” read the letter from Rabbi Yisroel Miller.
“The bad does not erase all the good. I know all the goodness within him still remains. A prison term would be a death sentence for him.”
Archer said Levin’s greatest crime was breach of trust.
But that broken trust is what aggravates the severity of the offences, said prosecutor Dallas Sopko, who called for six to eight years behind bars.
Sopko pointed out that more than 20 assaults occurred. He argued there are no mitigating factors.
“It’s the most serious that one can imagine as far as trust goes,” said Sopko.
“The offender clearly acted without regard for the emotional and mental well-being of the victims. This was a serious sexual assault repeated over a number of years,” he added.
“This case is more aggravating because of the elevated position of trust with a psychiatrist.”
Levin initially faced charges involving nine different men, but was found guilty on three counts and acquitted on two others. The jury could not reach a verdict on four of the charges.
The patients had been assigned to Levin between 1999 and 2010.
The allegations against him came to light in 2010 after one of his patients came forward with secret videos he had recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.
The videos, played in court last fall, 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 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.
R.B., who is in custody, sat shackled in the prisoner’s box so he could watch the proceedings. He broke down when delivering his victim impact statement.
“You took my life like I was nothing,” he said. “I was destroyed.”
“I believe I’ve lost several years I can never get back...memories I can never get back.”
The third victim was crying before he began addressing the court.
“I find it hard to trust anyone anymore,” the young man said. “I cry myself to sleep at night.”
“I wash myself constantly down there because I feel disgusting and dirty.”
Justice Shelley asked Levin if he wanted to make a statement, but he declined.
He served briefly as regional director for the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta.
Levin was approached by reporters after he left court. He didn’t say a word and his only reaction was a nod when asked if he wanted to be left alone.