Doctor Sexually Assaults Sedated Surgery Patients, Gets 10 Years

Image: Doctor Sexually Assaults Sedated Surgery Patients, Gets 10 Years Dr. George Doodnaught.

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2014 09:36 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Canadian doctor accused of sexually assaulting more than 20 of his sedated patients during surgeries was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week.

Dr. George Doodnaught, a 65-year-old anesthesiologist who worked at Toronto's North York General Hospital, was found guilty in November of assaulting 21 women between the ages of 25 and 75 while they were half-conscious on the operating room table, The Toronto Star reported.

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Doodnaught is accused of fondling the women, kissing them, and forcing them to perform oral sex and masturbation on him. The doctor's colleagues reportedly never picked up on the abuse because he was separated from them by a surgical drape, The Star noted.

Many of Doodnaught's victims, who were assaulted between 2006 and 2010, testified against him in Ontario Superior Court, claiming they were cognizant of what was happening to them but not conscious enough to move their bodies, according to The Associated Press.

The first six assaults reportedly happened over a three and a half year period, while the other 15 occurred in the six months leading up to Doodnaught's arrest.

In handing down the 10-year sentence Tuesday, Superior Court Justice David McCombs called Doodnaught's conduct "reprehensible" and said his behavior "must be condemned in the strongest terms."

Many of the doctor's victims, though, felt the sentence was too lenient.

"I am very happy with the conviction, however I am very disappointed with the sentencing," the patient who first complained about Doodnaught told The Star Tuesday. "Ten years, as far as I’m concerned, is insulting."

Doodnaught's medical license is currently suspended pending a disciplinary hearing with the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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