The Chronicle Herald (Metro)

Doctor’s sexual assault trial set for April 2023

- STEVE BRUCE @Steve_courts

A former family physician in the Halifax area will stand trial almost two years from now on a charge of sexual assault.

Graeme Hamilton Bethune, 74, of Halifax is accused of sexually assaulting a female patient during house calls at her residence in Dartmouth over a fouryear period between January 2005 and January 2009.

The woman went to Halifax Regional Police last November, and the charge was announced in April.

Bethune elected last month to be tried in Nova Scotia Supreme Court by a judge and jury.

Defence lawyer Stan MacDonald appeared in Supreme Court in Halifax by phone Thursday to set trial dates.

Associate Chief Justice Patrick Duncan scheduled the trial for nine days beginning April 11, 2023.

Bethune remains free on conditions that he have no contact with the complainan­t and stay away from her home and place of employment. The woman’s identity is protected by a publicatio­n ban.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia revoked Bethune’s medical licence in April 2020 for committing profession­al misconduct “by engaging in an inappropri­ate personal relationsh­ip with a vulnerable patient,” someone other than the complainan­t. His licence had been suspended since February 2019.

The college’s website says Bethune agreed not to seek a licence to practise medicine in any jurisdicti­on or reinstatem­ent of his licence in Nova Scotia.

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