Ottawa doctor, 44, facing sexual assault charge

Ottawa police say a 61-year-old man died after being hit by a vehicle in the city's east end on Tuesday night. The Canadian Press / Fred Chartrand / File

Local police say they have charged a 44-year-old Ottawa doctor with sexual assault, after investigating a complaint reported to them in February 2017.

The complainant, who Ottawa police investigators said is a woman in her 50s, alleged Dr. Richard Nahas sexually assaulted her during a scheduled appointment at a clinic on Merivale Road, where he was employed, in November 2016.

The patient told police Nahas was alone with her when the alleged incident occurred, according to a news release from the Ottawa Police Service.

A year and half after receiving that complaint, investigators in the sexual assault and child abuse unit said on Thursday they have charged Nahas with one count of sexual assault and are asking any other alleged victims to come forward.

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Police said Nahas is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

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The College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario has restricted the medical practice of a Dr. Richard Nahas since July 13, 2018.

The college’s website notes that “allegations of Dr. Nahas’s professional misconduct” have been referred to the college’s discipline committee.

“It is alleged that Dr. Nahas sexually abused Patient A and engaged (in) disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct towards Patient A during a medical appointment in approximately November 2016, including by touching her body, including her genital area, in a manner that was sexual and/or inappropriate, by breaching boundaries, and by making inappropriate remarks and remarks of a sexual nature towards Patient A,” the website says.

The regulator lists Nahas’ primary location of practice as 942 Merivale Rd. – an address in the neighbourhood of Carlington, in Ottawa’s west end. The Seekers Centre, a clinic that specializes in treating patients with chronic pain, is the clinic associated with that address.

On the clinic’s website, Nahas is listed as a pain physician and founder of the centre.

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An employee who answered the phone at the Seekers Centre on Thursday afternoon said she could not comment on the charge. Counsel for Nahas could not be immediately reached for comment.

Police urge anyone with information related to this investigation to email or call 613-236-1222 ext. 5760.

Anonymous tips can also be reported to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the Ottawa police app.

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