10 years for Toronto doctor convicted of sexually assaulting sedated patients

Dr. George Doodnaught (front)

An anesthesiologist convicted of sexually assaulting 21 sedated women during surgeries has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A judge in Toronto says Dr. George Doodnaught exploited the extraordinarily high degree of trust the patients placed in him and his conduct was "reprehensible in the extreme.''

When he was convicted in November, the judge found that Doodnaught relied on his three decades of operating room experience to avoid detection.

He sexually assaulted the women while concealed from other medical staff only by a surgical drape.

Doodnaught was known as a "touchy feely'' doctor, so the judge found that his physical proximity during surgery didn't arouse suspicion with other staff.

The assaults — all but one of which happened at North York General Hospital in Toronto — became more frequent until Doodnaught was caught, with the first six spread over 3 1/2 years and 15 others in the last six months before he was stopped.

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