Calgary. The Canadian Press.
The wife of a Calgary psychiatrist convicted of sexually assaulting his court-appointed patients has been found guilty of trying to bribe a juror during her husband’s trial.
Erica Levin was charged with obstruction after a juror came forward to say she had been approached by a relative of the accused.
The juror testified this week that she was offered $1,000 if she found Dr. Aubrey Levin not guilty.
The psychiatrist was convicted in January, 2013, on three counts of sexual assault against male patients and sentenced to five years in prison.
Jurors at Erica Levin’s trial were shown surveillance video of her approaching a female juror at a light-rail transit platform near the courthouse and giving her a note.
Levin, who is 70, told court that the note did not contain money, but a suicide note.
She testified she had gone to the transit station with the intent to throw herself in front of a train, but decided not to kill herself when she realized she needed to take care of her cat.
Levin sobbed as she testified that her husband’s trial was not fair and that gross inconsistencies in the trial added to her depression.
During cross-examination, the Crown pointed out that she had other opportunities to kill herself if she wanted to and accused her of lying.
The juror was excused from the doctor’s trial after she came forward with her allegations.
Levin remains free on bail until her sentencing in November.
Aubrey Levin asked for a reduction in his sentence, but it was upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal in June.
The original allegations against him came to light in 2010 after one of his patients stepped forward with secret videos he had recorded during sessions with the psychiatrist.
The patient was on probation at the time the videos were taken and had been ordered by a court to see Levin twice a month.
The man said he had told authorities about previous assaults and no one believed him, so he bought a spy camera and brought it to his appointments.
Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings.
He served briefly as director for the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon and was licensed in 1998 to practise psychiatry in Alberta.
Levin is no stranger to controversy over his work. He faced heated accusations about his time as a military psychiatrist during apartheid in South Africa, where he earned his degree in 1963.
In the 1970s, he was a psychiatrist at a military hospital where aversion therapy through electric shocks was allegedly used in an attempt to change the sexuality of gay soldiers. Levin is mentioned in a report that aimed to shed light on abuses of gays and lesbians in the military by health workers.