Cape Town - Aubrey Levin, the former South African psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting 10 patients in Canada, was expected to be sentenced in a Calgary court on Thursday.
This after he was found guilty by the jury on Monday of three counts of sexual assault. He was acquitted of two other charges, and a mistrial on four other charges was ordered because the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict. Calgary, which is nine hours behind South Africa, is the scene of the court case which began in September last year after the original complainant, known as RB, came forward in March 2010.
Levin, who was known as “Dr Shock”, headed a programme at 1 Military Hospital in Pretoria during the apartheid years that was designed to “cure” gay soldiers with shock therapy.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission accused Levin of “gross human rights abuses”, but he had already moved to Canada before he could testify.
According to the Calgary Herald, Crown prosecutor Dallas Sopko argued on Wednesday for a prison sentence of six to eight years for Levin, 74, who had seen many patients under court-ordered treatment. Sopko said the assaults, which involved extensive groping and fondling, were done while the offender was in a position of trust. “The assaults were repetitive and predatory in nature.”
Sopko said the assaults on RB, who was found by the judge to have been assaulted 18 times over a number of years, and another victim, GP, who was assaulted three times, were worthy of four to five-year prison sentences. The single assault on the third victim warranted a one-year sentence. This should also be accompanied by Levin being added to a sex offender register, Sopko said.
Defence lawyer Chris Archer said the assaults against all three victims were “minor assaults” that should draw no more than a total sentence of a year.
The Calgary Herald reported that RB had said: “I can’t begin to describe the effects Aubrey Levin has had on me. I have hate and anger for authority figures. I had nowhere to turn, no one would believe me. It seemed hopeless.”
The Cape Times reported earlier this week that Levin’s wife, Erica Levin, had allegedly tried to bribe a juror with an envelope containing money at a train platform following court last month.
She is under house arrest and faces a hearing on March 5. Levin was registered as a psychiatrist in 1969 and later commanded the major psychiatric ward of the military hospital in Pretoria.
He left South Africa in 1995 and was appointed by the Canadian courts as a forensic psychiatrist for about 13 years. Convicted criminals were ordered to see him before a judge passed sentencing.