Thursday, June 8, 2023

Former top neurologist to stand trial for sexual-assault allegation involving patient

Former top neurologist to stand trial for sexual-assault allegation involving patient

Dr. Alan Gordon, 73, a neurologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, left the Ontario College of Surgeons and Physicians on October 12, 2018 at the Toronto office after his medical license was revoked for professional disability.Michelle Siu / The Globe and Mail

A former Toronto neurologist plans to stand trial this week over the same count of sexual assault, initially accused of abusing 18 patients over a 17-year period.

Alan Gordon, 77, was accused of sexually assaulting five patients in December 2019. But those charges were put on hold last January, after an Ontario court judge determined that the proceedings were “excessively” delayed.

Toronto Police accused Dr. Gordon of sexually assaulting 13 other patients with a weapon in June 2020. Brian Gray, an Ontario spokesman, said he would be tried on one of the charges Tuesday at Toronto’s Old City Hall. Attorney-General’s Office. He said the Crown had not withdrawn or stayed the remaining charges leveled two years ago.

Dr Gordon’s lawyer David Humphrey said the case against his client involved a “single encounter” with a patient.

“Dr. Gordon has pleaded not guilty to the charge and will vigorously defend himself against this charge,” he said in an e-mail.

Dr. Gordon was known as a top pain specialist during his four decades at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He was the director of the hospital’s Vassar Pain Management Center when he allegedly sexually assaulted patients.

The allegations followed an investigation by the Globe and Mail in 2019 that identified at least 10 former patients who complained to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario that Dr. Gordon sexually abused her. After the investigation was published, twelve more former patients came forward for The Globe, accusing them of similar abuse.

“While the process remains an arduous journey, there is some relief in learning that the criminal case is finally moving forward,” said Jordan Asraf, the Toronto attorney who worked with Dr. Representing 13 former patients in civil lawsuits against Gordon.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons did not respond to a request for comment. Mount Sinai spokeswoman Barbara McCully reiterated the hospital’s full cooperation with police.

According to documents filed with the Ontario Court of Justice, Toronto police arrested Dr. Gordon of sexually assaulting patients. Along with one of the patients, police accused him of using the Wartenberg wheel as a weapon to attack him – a medical device that is rolled over the skin to test nerve sensitivity.

The charges have not been proved in court.

In his written decision barring the initial five charges, Justice Malcolm MacLeod said that Dr. Both Gordon’s lawyers and prosecutors contributed to the delay. But he criticized Crown lawyers for the “totally unacceptable” pace of disclosure.

“There was no sufficient explanation to justify the inordinate delay in these matters, except in exceptional circumstances,” the judgment said.

The Supreme Court set a new deadline in 2016 for criminal proceedings, known as R v Jordan, to allow 18 months for cases in provincial court.

In the Gordon case, the clock began running on December 13, 2019, when he was initially formally charged, the judgment said, and a trial would not end until 29 months later.

The decision said the Crown, citing complications associated with the 4,000-page documents submitted to police by the college and hospital, argued that most of the material contained patients’ personal medical records that should not be disclosed. Eventually several pages assigned to Dr. Gordon’s lawyers were completely blacked out.

As part of its investigation, The Globe obtained copies of the college’s reports, which summarized patients’ complaints about Dr. Gordon and the alleged abuse that occurred during physical examinations. One woman accused him of thrusting his crotch against her vagina; Another accused him of sexually arousing her clitoris; Another accused him of putting a finger in her anus without her consent.

The college removed any mention from its public website that Dr. Gordon was accused of sexually abusing a patient during a medical examination in 2015. It closed the files of the complaining women and did not publicly acknowledge their allegations, as The Globe reported.

Instead, Dr. Gordon pleaded “no contest” before a disciplinary panel in October 2018 for the less serious offense of professional misconduct for failing to obtain the patient’s “informed consent” for a pelvic exam. .

As part of the settlement, he agreed to resign and never applied again to practice medicine.

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