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article imageToronto doctor facing 29 sexual assault charges

By Lynn Curwin     Oct 1, 2010 in Crime
Toronto - A doctor who worked at a Toronto hospital is now facing 26 additional charges of sexually assaulting patients who were under anesthetic, bringing the total to 29.
In March, Dr. George Doodnaught, 61, was charged with sexually assaulting three female patients between August 2007 and February 2010.
His position at North York General Hospital, where he had worked as an anesthesiologist for 28 years, was terminated.
More women have now come forward with complaints and police laid 26 additional charges on Thursday.
CBC News reported that Toronto police said when the first women came forward in 2008 there wasn't enough evidence to lay charges. Investigators were able to put a case together after a second woman spoke to them.
Twenty-eight of the 29 alleged assaults took place at North York General, while the other is alleged to have occurred at the Rice Medicine Professional Corporation, which is also in Toronto.
Police said that in the first three cases they looked at the women involved were under anesthesia in hospital. They believe the circumstances for the other incidents were similar.
"They feel victimized. They feel abused," CBC News quoted Darcy Merkur, a lawyer representing 26 of the victims in a civil case against the hospital, as saying.
"There's a lot of questions about why this only came to light now. We're interested in finding out the answers to those questions.”
He said the hospital has already agreed to compensate the abuse victims, with amounts being determined on a case-by-case basis.
There were no cameras in the operating rooms and it is not known how the victims knew they were abused.
Doodnaught appeared in court on Thursday and was granted bail.
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