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‘It was disturbing and comforting’: Dozens of sexual assault victims speak at sentencing for Calgary neurologist

Click to play video 'Calgary neurologist who sexually assaulted dozens of women for years sentenced' Calgary neurologist who sexually assaulted dozens of women for years sentenced
WATCH: Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte pleaded guilty to 28 counts of assault that spanned three decades. As Jenna Freeman reports, Hoyte was sentenced Tuesday – Sep 8, 2020

A Calgary neurologist has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to 28 counts of assault that date back to the 1980s in January.

According to an agreed statement of facts, women described Keith Hoyte telling them to undress from the waist up even though they were there seeking treatment for brain ailments such as migraines and seizures.

Read more: Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte pleads guilty to 28 sex assaults dating back to 1980s

On Tuesday, victims were given the chance to speak at his sentencing hearing. The 72-year-old sat in court while victims read statements about the impact the sexual assault has had on their lives.

They described Hoyte fondling their breasts and pricking them with pins, while the doctor made little eye contact or conversation. In some cases, he pushed down gowns without his patients’ consent.

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One woman said “I have felt lost, alone, angry, betrayed, embarrassed, taken advantage of and questioned my own judgement.”

The victims identities are protected under a publication ban.

Click to play video 'Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte pleads guilty to 28 sex assaults dating back to 1980s' Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte pleads guilty to 28 sex assaults dating back to 1980s
Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte pleads guilty to 28 sex assaults dating back to 1980s – Jan 6, 2020

Read more: New charges laid against retired Calgary doctor, now accused of sexually assaulting 19 former patients

One of the women who read her statement spoke with Global News outside court.

She said that she was first assaulted years ago and it took a very long time to speak out, given the position of authority held by the neurologist.

“That’s what made it difficult to come forward, you’re playing mind games, processing,” she said. “Was that a medical procedure? You have a lot of self-doubt.”

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She said she hoped that Tuesday’s sentencing was a step forward for herself and other victims.

“It was disturbing and comforting.”

The Crown prosecutor and defense submitted a joint recommendation of three years incarceration for Hoyte.