(The following article was referred to us by reader ‘S.A. Native):
Sherwood Park Sex-assault Doctor Gets Probation
A Sherwood Park doctor convicted of sexual assault for massaging a patient’s breasts, was placed on probation for 12 months on Thursday and ordered to take counseling.
Doctor Ismail Taher, 37, also agreed to pay $5,000 in damages as part of a joint submission by Crown and Defense, for a suspended sentence. He must submit a DNA sample for the national DNA databank in Ottawa.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Joanne Goss noted the incident was “traumatic” for the 20-year-old victim, but ruled the agreement was “highly reasonable and appropriate” as the sex assault was on the low end of the scale.
Goss noted that Taher was given numerous positive references and he has strong community support. She cited a letter from a physician mentor who wrote that Taher now has a much better understanding of doctor-patient boundaries and professional standards.
Outside court, the victim, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, said she feels that Taher – a Libya-born married father of three daughters – should have got a stiffer sentence.
“I think it was too light,” she said.
Taher is also facing two additional charges of sexual assault allegedly relating to separate incidents in June and August of 2013 involving different women. He is scheduled to go to trial on the charges in November.
Goss earlier found Taher guilty following a trial and said in her decision that she found he had touched and massaged the victim’s breasts and touched her buttocks while examining an irritated nose piercing and an inflamed tattoo on her hip at a Sherwood Park clinic on August 17, 2013.
The victim testified she lowered her pants a few inches to show the doctor the tattoo irritation and said he asked her to lower her pants further. She said he then touched her on one of her buttocks and then moved his hands up under her sweatshirt and began massaging her breasts.
“He had a hand on my bum and the next thing I knew there were two hands on my breasts,” she said.
The woman told court the doctor then asked her if she wanted him to stop and she said she told him yes.
After the alleged sexual assault, she said the doctor told her she was beautiful and asked her why she was modifying her body with piercings and tattoos.
“I felt like my doctor was flirting with me right after he touched my breasts,” she said. “I bet that would make a lot of people uncomfortable.”
Taher is currently practicing in north Edmonton.
According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Taher has conditions attached to his practice permit ensuring he has a chaperone in attendance when examining female patients or those under 16.
(We thank reporter Catherine Griwkowsky of the Edmonton Sun)
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This case underscores two points that we stress on the this website:
1. Criminal physicians are appallingly under-disciplined
2. Physicians from the Mideast are notoriously unable to control their sexual impulses in the presence of female patients.
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