A Canadian ‘gay cure’ therapist convicted of molesting male patients has been sentenced to five years in jail.
Dr Aubrey Levin, 74, was going to be given eight years, but the judge reduced it due to his health problems and age.
Levin was convicted on three counts of sexual assault by a jury last week.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley told the disgraced doctor that it was a ‘horrible violation of the trust of these three patients’.
‘They came to you for help for their problems,’ she said. ‘Instead you added to their problems.’
While the Crown asked for six to eight years, the defence argued Levin was a frail senior and suggested a sentence of 60-90 days to be served on weekends.
Shelley said: ‘Dr Levin, knowing of the many vulnerabilities of these victims, employed a strategy which would give him the opportunity to sexually assault his patients.’
‘Dr Levin’s profession and his training would make him more informed than the average sexual assaulter to the serious psychological and emotional harm that can result from a sexual assault,’ she added.
‘These three men were already emotionally and psychologically fragile.’
Levin initially faced charges involving nine different men, but was acquitted on two others and the jury could not reach a verdict on the last four.
Prosecutor Dallas Sopko said the Crown was satisfied with the outcome.
‘We feel it’s a fair and just sentence given all the circumstances in the case. It’s been a long and arduous process,’ he said.
Chief Defence Counsel Chris Archer said he hopes he will be able to get his client released on bail once an appeal had been filed.
‘With a 74-year-old man you’re looking at the end of your life and whether or not this is going to be a significant part of it or whether or not you’re going to die in jail," Archer said.
The allegations against Levin came to light in 2010 after one of his patients came forward with secret videos he had recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.
The videos, played in court last fall, show Levin undoing the man’s belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.
A South African immigrant to Canada, Levin was known in his country of origin as ‘Dr Shock’. It is alleged he subjected hundreds of gay soldiers and conscientious objectors to electric shock ‘therapy’ during the apartheid era.
Speaking to GSN, a South African journalist also claimed Levin and his team performed chemical castration and forced gender reassignment surgery on gay men as a ‘cure’ for being homosexual.
Levin has denied abusing any patients under his care and has argued the submission was based on a distortion of facts.