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George Doodnaught denied bail while appealing sex assault convictions

Former anesthesiologist George Doodnaught has been denied bail while he appeals his 21 convictions for sexually assaulting female patients while they lay semi-conscious on the operating table.

“Dr. Doodnaught’s offences…are very serious,” wrote Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Harry LaForme in his decision released Wednesday morning.

“From my assessment based on the record before me, his grounds of appeal are weak and not likely to succeed, although some may be arguable. In cases like this, the need for immediate enforcement of the judgment outweighs the need to review the decision. Release, therefore, would not be in the public interest.”
Doodnaught, who worked at North York General Hospital for 26 years, was convicted in November and sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for what Superior Court Justice David McCombs called his “reprehensible” crimes.

No similar reported case exists in Canada, he said.

Doodnaught has been in jail since Feb. 25. He made arguments through his lawyer Brian Greenspan the next day for release pending an appeal of his convictions. He is not appealing his sentence.

Greenspan argued that releasing Doodnaught on bail pending appeal could avoid a potential miscarriage of justice because the trial judge ignored or misapprehended any evidence that did not point up guilt.

Crown attorney Lisa Joyal argued that Doodnaught’s appeal had little merit and that his crimes, including forcing the women to perform oral sex or masturbate him, were cruel, callous and extremely serious.

Releasing the “serial sexual predator” would undermine public confidence in the justice system, submitted Joyal to the Court of Appeal.

Torstar News Service

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