Calgary psychiatrist guilty of sex assault loses appeal

The Alberta Court of Appeal has refused to overturn a psychiatrist’s three convictions for sexually assaulting his court-appointed patients.

CALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal has refused to overturn a psychiatrist’s three convictions for sexually assaulting his court-appointed patients.

Dr. Aubrey Levin was found guilty by a jury in January 2013 and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Levin, 75, had asked the Appeal Court last October to dismiss the convictions and order a new trial. He had remained free on bail while the appeal was being heard.

But the court has ruled that there is no merit in any of the appeal arguments raised by Levin’s lawyer.

“The appeal accordingly is dismissed,” writes the three-member panel in a decision released Wednesday.

“We direct that Levin turn himself into custody within 48 hours after the filing of this judgment, failing which a warrant for his arrest will issue.”

The original allegations against Levin came to light in 2010 after one of his patients came forward with secret videos he had recorded during sessions with the psychiatrist.

The patient 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.

At the time of Levin’s convictions, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on four other charges.

The Crown retried Levin on two of them and last month a new jury was again unable to reach a consensus.

Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings.

He served briefly as director for the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta.

Levin is no stranger to controversy over his work. He faced heated accusations about his time as a military psychiatrist during apartheid in South Africa, where he earned his degree in 1963.

In the 1970s, he was a psychiatrist at a military hospital where aversion therapy through electric shocks was allegedly used in an attempt to change the sexuality of gay soldiers. Levin is mentioned in a report that aimed to shed light on abuses of gays and lesbians in the military by health workers.

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