Silencing the facts does not take away Truth

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/crime-and-justice/Aubrey+Levin+victims+lives+shattered+sexual/7896081/story.html

Levin’s victims say lives shattered: ‘I hope you suffer as much as I and the others have suffered’ – By Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald January 31, 2013

CALGARY — Three men outlined on Wednesday how their lives have been profoundly shattered as a result of being sexually assaulted by Dr. Aubrey Levin, a forensic psychiatrist they trusted to help them.

In his victim impact statement, RB, the original complainant to come forward in March 2010, said at Levin’s sentencing hearing that he believes he has lost several years of his life he’ll never get back.

“I can’t begin to describe the effects Aubrey Levin has had on me,” said RB, hands and legs shackled in the prisoner’s box because of criminal charges. “I can’t describe the emotions of feeling the shame, guilt, anxiety, self-destruction from alcohol and drugs, in an out of jail. I have hate and anger for authority figures.

“I had nowhere to turn, no one would believe me. It seemed hopeless. I didn’t care about myself anymore, I didn’t make any plans for future or family or to have a career, my physical health put at risk numerous times from disinfected hands in areas I was assaulted.”

Levin 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.

Crown prosecutor Dallas Sopko argued for a prison sentence of six to eight years for Levin, 74, who saw many patients under court-ordered treatment as part of probation.

Sopko said the assaults, which involved extensive groping and fondling, were done while the offender was in a significant position of trust.

“The assaults were repetitive and predatory in nature, and there was a vulnerability of the victims,” the prosecutor told Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Donna Shelley. “You violated their trust.

“You can draw a parallel for these victims and children. The position of trust parallels other cases that involve children.”

The prosecutor said the assaults on RB, who was found by the judge to have been assaulted 18 times over several years, and GP, who was assaulted three times, were worthy of four-to-five-year prison sentences. The third victim, a one-time brief assault, warranted one year.

Sopko said his revised total sentence of six and eight years should be accompanied by a 20-year registry of the doctor as a sex offender.

Defence lawyer Chris Archer categorized the sex assaults against all three victims as “minor assaults” that should draw no more than intermittent jail time of 60 to 90 days for RB and GP and no more than a total sentence of one year.

“There is nothing to suggest these should be elevated from minor sexual assaults,” said the lawyer. “There is no evidence these people were under court orders at the times they were allegedly sexually assaulted, although they may have met Dr. Levin in that manner.”

GP, who said he was suffering from cancer when he went to Levin for help and was sexually assaulted on three occasions, told the court he does not know how he can put his shattered life back together again. He said his hope is justice will ultimately be served.

“I hope you suffer as much as I and the others have suffered,” he said.

“Dr. Levin, I’m looking right at you, I want this day to be the beginning of the end. I have suffered mentally beyond reachable.

“I have thought of doing harm to myself with all the pain I have endured on top of this, How can someone like me have a normal life, including cancer in particular. And the sexual assaults have been a constant reminder. At least I can put the pieces back together and my control for my health. I don’t have any desire to socialize with anyone, I don’t trust anybody in relationships.”

In his victim statement, WG said he finds it hard to trust anyone anymore.

“At times, I cry myself to sleep, that’s if I can sleep,” he told court. “I find myself shaky, confused, and when I get flashbacks, I ask myself why could someone with so much power use that power in a way that ruins their life.

“I wash myself constantly, because I feel dirty. Even after I shower, it causes flashbacks. It’s harder to go in public because, even though people don’t know, I’m still ashamed and embarrassed.”

Levin originally faced 21 charges of sexual assault, but 11 of them were dropped during or at the end of his preliminary hearing in 2011. Another was dropped during trial, leaving the jury with nine to decide.

The psychiatrist declined through his lawyer to make any statement to court before the judge adjourned sentencing until Thursday morning. He also would not say anything when reporters attempted to speak to him outside court, just nodding his head when asked if he wanted to be left alone.

Shelley declined to order Levin be taken into custody pending sentencing, but it is expected he’ll be remanded immediately after sentencing.

His wife Erica, 69, is under house arrest after the judge cited her for contempt for allegedly trying to bribe a juror with an envelope containing money at an adjacent CTrain platform following court on Jan. 11.

The juror gave a note to the judge outlining what she said occurred. Despite her honesty and integrity, she was dismissed because of any perception the jury might be tainted.

The trial resumed with the remaining seven men and four women.

On Sunday night, the jury gave a note to the judge saying it could not reach a verdict on any of the counts and no amount of further deliberation would change that position.

However, the judge exhorted them on Monday — against the opposition of Archer and co-counsel Karen Molle — to continue trying for a verdict. Eight hours later, they reached verdicts on five of the nine counts.

dslade@calgaryherald.com

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