Windsor man loses medical license but avoids jail time
A Windsor doctor has been cleared of all charges of sexual assault, but he has still been convicted of a crime.
Dr. Ravi Shenava was in Superior Court Thursday where Justice Bruce Thomas agreed to a joint submission that Shenava plead not guilty to three counts of sexual assault, but guilty to three lesser offences of simple assault.
The remaining charges were withdrawn.
Shenava avoids a jail term with his plea and has been fined $3,900. He will also remain under probation for two years but he will not be able to practice in Canada again.
The trial dealt with charges brought forward by five complainants dating back to 2011.
Court heard the doctor hugged one of his clients during an appointment without obtaining consent. On two other occasions, he touched his female patient’s knees with his hand.
Shenava, 68, argues his intention was to support and reassure the patients -- but acknowledges he should have asked for their consent first before touching.
Two of his former patients said in their victim impact statements that they would be happy never to see Shenava again.
In closing submissions, crown attorney Jennifer Graham said "this is hopefully a shameful day for Dr. Shenava." She added patients put faith and trust in their doctors, and “Shenava broke that trust."
Shenava also stood before the court and said "if I hurt somebody's feelings, I sincerely apologize."
In his decision, Justice Thomas stated these were young vulnerable women looking for guidance and treatment, and Shenava, of all people, should have understood that and received their consent.
Thomas said, "you didn't hurt their feelings. Their victim impact statements speak to a much graver impact."
Shenava was also ordered to resign his membership in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and cannot re-apply for the membership or practice psychiatry or any other form of counselling in Canada again.
Justice Thomas called that “the most important punishment in this case.”
Shenava informed court that he already resigned his membership about a month ago.
Shenava had already been through one sexual assault and extortion trial in which he was acquitted of all charges.