Alleged victim takes stand in sex assault trial of Windsor psychiatrist
A Windsor doctor is accused of using his power, and his signature, to get sexual favours from a former patient.
The trial of Doctor Ravi Shenava, 67, started Monday in Windsor Superior Court. Dr. Shenava is charged with five counts of sexual assault and extortion for incidents in 2012, and again in 2015. There is a publication ban on facts and testimony that could identify the lone female complainant in the case.
A warning that some of the content of this story may be disturbing.
Dr. Shenava’s alleged victim says she went to see the psychiatrist in 2012 to get medical approval for a disability application. The woman told the court she suffers from manic depression. When she saw Dr. Shenava, she confessed to him that she works as an escort
The woman testified Dr. Shenava threatened to tell police if she didn't do as he asked. She told the court “he squeezed my boobs, sniffed my neck like a dog and said I smelled like a real Canadian girl.”
Over the course of six visits, the woman told the court Dr. Shenava forced her to perform sexual acts on him and on one occasion, the pair had sex, because the woman said “I was just doing as I was told, I didn't want to get into trouble with the government or the police.”
In 2015, the woman says she was referred back to Dr. Shenava when her disability came up for medical review. Again she claims the doctor coerced her into performing sexual acts and to have intercourse in his office.
On cross examination, defence lawyer David Humphrey asked the woman why she didn't tell police about the exchange of money when she gave them her first statement. It was nearly a year later before she told police about the money. The woman said “I was scared to tell the truth.”
According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Dr. Shenava has been restricted from seeing patients since July 2015 when he was charged by police.
The college is investigating allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behaviour against 11 patients. Several disciplinary hearings are planned for 2018.
Dr. Shenava is also facing two more criminal court trials for other charges of sexual assault.