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Ste. Anne doctor found guilty of sexually assaulting patients

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A Manitoba doctor has been found guilty of sexually assaulting five of his former female patients during medical appointments.

On Tuesday, Manitoba Court of King's Bench Justice Sadie Bond released her decision in the trial of Arcel Bissonnette.

The 63-year-old doctor had been working at the Ste. Anne Hospital and the Seine Medical Centre in Ste. Anne when he was charged with 22 counts of sexual assault.

Six of the charges were stayed by the Crown earlier this year. The current trial dealt with six counts of sexual assault, one of which was also stayed.

Bissonnette pleaded not guilty to the five remaining charges, arguing during the trial that his actions during the medical appointments with the five women were medically appropriate and consensual.

"Overall, I did not find Dr. Bissonnette to be a credible witness," Bond wrote in her decision. "I found his testimony to be contrived, sometimes nonsensical, and at times obviously fabricated."

The Crown argued Bissonnette took advantage of his position as a family doctor to sexually assault the women under the guise of medical examinations.

Bond said in her decision Bissonnette's conduct during the appointments were sexual in nature and done without the consent of the women. She found him guilty of five counts of sexual assault.

The remaining 10 charges against Bissonnette have not been tested in court and are scheduled to go to trial in February 2024.

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