Former Vernon, B.C., physiotherapist spared jail time for sex assaults

Click to play video: 'Former physiotherapist sentenced for nine sexual assaults'
Former physiotherapist sentenced for nine sexual assaults
Former physiotherapist sentenced for nine sexual assaults – Jul 9, 2020

Former physiotherapist Stephen Witvoet has now been sentenced after pleading guilty last year to nine sexual assault charges.

The 47-year-old worked as a physiotherapist in Vernon for over a decade, where he sexually assaulted nine different women who were his clients between 2009 and 2016.

Witvoet was sentenced to an 18-month conditional sentence order followed by two years of probation, a sentence both defence and Crown had agreed to.

Read more: Female B.C. RCMP officer docked 20 days’ pay for sexual misconduct

The first six months of his conditional sentence will be house arrest.

His sentence reflects his guilty plea, which saved all nine victims from testifying in court.

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As per his probation, he cannot consume drugs or alcohol and must go to counselling.

Read more: Body of missing North Okanagan man discovered by kayaker, Vernon, B.C., RCMP says

The former physiotherapist was seen inside the Vernon courtroom, where he read an apology to the victims, his family and the city of Vernon.

Witvoet had his physiotherapy registration cancelled by the College of Physical Therapists of B.C., which said his actions were, “a gross departure from practice standards”.

He is banned from applying for reinstatement for four years.

Should he reapply, he would be banned from treating female patients and from operating in a solo practice.

Click to play video: 'Vernon man charged after assaults at Kalamalka Beach'
Vernon man charged after assaults at Kalamalka Beach

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