"Spy watch" video led to arrest of psychiatrist now on trial for patient sex abuses
October 13, 2012
CALGARY -- Video from a wristwatch camera led to the arrest of accused sex abuser psychiatrist Aubrey Levin, court heard Wednesday.
A patient who was under a court order to see Levin for treatment secretly recorded the physician's actions during two clinical visits in March 2010, Det. Perry Patzwald told court.
"He'd surreptitiously recorded those sessions using a spy camera," Patzwald said.
DVDs of that video footage were brought to police by the patient and his girlfriend, then seized by authorities.
Levin was charged with sexual assault several days later.
"The video was fairly good quality but the audio was fairly poor quality," Patzwald said.
Those videos are expected to be shown to the jury of seven men and five women this week.
As soon as news of the arrest was reported by the media in March 2010, a flood of other male complainants came forward also claiming their genitals had been fondled by Levin either in the psychiatrist's office or an examination room, both at the Peter Lougheed Centre, Patzwald testified.
The sex crimes unit, he said, employed extra detectives and set up a phone hotline to handle the rush of complaints.
Levin, 73, is charged with assaulting 10 male patients from 1999 to 2010.
All had been sent to Levin by the courts for assessment or treatment.
In his opening statement, Crown attorney Bill Wister argued the accused used bogus treatment of sexual problems as cover for the assaults.
The victims, Wister told court, "did not initiate conversations of sexual or penile dysfunction."
He also said there were no records of sexual dysfunction diagnosis among the alleged victims.
Wister accused Levin of exploiting a position of power and authority, adding abused patients held him in great esteem.
"They trusted and respected Dr. Levin and out of that sense of respect gave gifts to Dr. Levin," he said.
Why those patients continued to see the psychiatrist to prolong -- at times -- years of abuse will become clear in future testimony, Wister said.
During some of the proceedings Levin, judged mentally fit to stand trial the day before, seemed to be taking notes while his wife sat behind him in the gallery.
The trial, which began Wednesday, is scheduled to last three weeks.
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