Disgraced doctor won’t testify at sexual abuse hearing

A Mississauga physician who stands accused of sexually abusing a private investigator posing as a patient declined to testify at his disciplinary hearing Monday.

The hearing for Dr. David Lambert resumed Monday before a five-member committee of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which could ultimately revoke his medical licence and fine him up to $35,000.

In June, Lambert pleaded guilty to four of the five professional misconduct charges against him, but he has adamantly denied the alleged sexual abuse.

On Monday, lawyers for Lambert and the college argued over whether the “adverse inference” rule could be applied in the proceedings. “Adverse inference” refers to a situation where a decision-making body, such as the disciplinary committee, could conclude that a person did not produce evidence because it would hurt his or her case.

Lambert declined to testify regarding an allegation that he brushed his hand across a woman’s breast during a medical appointment.

“The allegation is, ‘You brushed my nipple.’ (Lambert) could only say, ‘I didn’t touch her,’” which is already implied by his ‘not guilty’ plea, said Roy Stephenson, the defendant’s lawyer, on why Lambert refused to take the stand.

Colin Johnston, a lawyer for the College, argued that Lambert should have testified to allow for cross-examination, and that his refusal to do so means the “adverse inference” rule should apply.

The disciplinary committee has heard from the woman, who was hired by the College in 2009 to investigate the 59-year-old physician by posing as a patient. Her name is being withheld due to a publication ban.

Lambert has already pleaded guilty breaching restrictions placed on his medical licence.

His licence was revoked in 2002 after the college found he had sexually abused three female patients. It was reinstated several months before the private investigator visited his office.

Lambert’s licence is under suspension pending the results of the hearing.

The disciplinary committee will release their decision in a report.



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