Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Canada: Ex-psychiatrist's rabbi calls prison term a "death sentence"

Sentencing arguments have concluded for Aubrey Levin, the Jewish psychiatrist found guilty of sexually assaulting three of his male patients. Levin, 74, who had served in the past as a court-appointed psychiatrist, was originally charged with nine counts of sexual assault. The jury returned guilty verdicts on three counts, not guilty verdicts on two counts and was unable to reach a decision on the other four counts, which led Justice Donna Shelley to declare a mistrial on those four. The court saw video taken by a patient with a hidden camera that showed Levin undoing the man's belt and fondling him. Crown prosecutor Dallas Sopko told the judge that she is requesting a term between six and eight years. Sopko told the judge that the aggravating factors are Levin's position of trust, the vulnerability of victims, and the length and repetitive nature of assaults. Levin's rabbi said that to send him to prison would be a "death sentence." Two weeks before the verdict, a juror was dismissed after she came forward to say that a woman she believed to be Levin's wife had offered the juror a bribe to find Levin not guilty. A charge of obstruction of justice is pending against Erica Levin.

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