Hike sentence

Court of Appeal rejects ex-doctor’s request to quash sexual assault conviction and sentence – Winnipeg Free Press

Manitoba’s highest court has overturned a former walk-in clinic doctor’s attempt to overturn his conviction and sentence for sexually assaulting six of his patients.

Amir Ravesh, 56, subjected women to ‘objectification and humiliation’ in exams that had no medical purpose but his own sexual gratification, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge has heard when he was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2020.

Ravesh improperly and unnecessarily examined the six patients’ vaginas, anuses and breasts with his hands, the Crown argued.

SHANNON VANRAES / FREE PRESS KITS

Amir Ravesh went on trial in 2019, initially charged with 12 counts of sexual assault under the guise of medical examinations at his walk-in clinic in Elmwood. The Crown stayed two counts and he was found not guilty on four.

Ravesh – full name Amir Houshang Mazhari-Ravesh – stood trial in 2019, initially charged with 12 counts of sexual assault under the guise of medical examinations at his walk-in clinic in Elmwood. The Crown stayed two counts and he was found not guilty on four.

In January, Ravesh appealed both conviction and sentence, arguing that there had been a miscarriage of justice during his trial.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal issued a written judgment on Thursday dismissing the disgraced doctor’s attempt to overturn his conviction.

Ravesh had argued that his lawyer had represented him ineffectively, that the court had incorrectly relied on the witnesses’ prior experience with doctors to conclude that sexual assaults had taken place, that there had been a misunderstanding regarding some expert evidence about how the medical examinations were conducted and that the sentence imposed was excessive and harsh.

The trial judge, Judge Ken Champagne, had sentenced Ravesh to individual terms on each count, totaling 12 years.

Champagne then applied the “totality principle” – which recognizes that sentences should not be disproportionate and should reflect the degree of responsibility of the offender – reducing the combined sentence to seven years.

The doctor argued that the combined sentence was too heavy. The Crown also appealed this combined sentence, arguing that Ravesh had too little time.

Court of Appeals Judge Holly C. Beard dismissed the Crown’s and Ravesh’s sentencing appeals.

Ravesh argued that his attorney ineffectively represented him by failing to call him to testify, failing to produce medical records as evidence, and failing to cross-examine a plaintiff, among other arguments.

Beard was unconvinced.

Winnipeg police arrested Ravesh in October 2017, after a 19-year-old woman went to the Health Sciences Center for treatment and reported she had been sexually assaulted the day before.

Media coverage of his then-alleged crimes prompted other victims to come forward, alleging sexual misconduct dating back to 2013.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba removed him from its list of practicing physicians the day police made his arrest public in October 2017.

He had been licensed in Manitoba since July 2010.

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Twitter: @erik_pindera

Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera
Journalist

Erik Pindera reports for the city bureau, with a particular focus on crime and justice.