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'True meaning of a monster': Disgraced neurologist admits sexually assaulting more women

Calgary Herald logo Calgary Herald 2022-12-08 Kevin Martin
Retired Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte leaves the Calgary Courts Centre on Jan. 6, 2020. © Provided by Calgary Herald Retired Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte leaves the Calgary Courts Centre on Jan. 6, 2020.

Disgraced Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte has admitted sexually assaulting another large group of female patients.

Hoyte, 74, pleaded guilty Thursday to 27 charges of sexual assault for abusing his victims over a span of nearly three decades.

Defence counsel Alain Hepner told provincial court Judge Allan Fradsham that he and the prosecutor “worked hard to resolve (the case)” ahead of a scheduled six-week trial that was set to begin next month.

In a lengthy, 30-page statement of agreed facts, Crown prosecutor Rose Greenwood detailed the sexual abuse of each of the victims, including one who started to be fondled by him at 16 years of age and another who was 17.

In each instance, Hoyte touched the victims inappropriately during examinations. The incidents happened between 1986 and Hoyte’s retirement in 2013.

The assaults mostly involved Hoyte fondling the victims’ breasts while occasionally telling them it was part of the examination process, but in most instances not explaining his behaviour at all.

“At no time did Hoyte explain what he was doing, or why,” Greenwood said in describing many of the assaults.

Hepner asked to adjourn the case to March 1, when the lawyers will schedule a date for sentencing submissions.

Hoyte was handed a three-year prison term in a federal penitentiary in September 2020 after admitting sexually assaulting 28 women who had been sent to him for neurological problems. He has since been released on parole.

A year after he was sentenced new allegations surfaced when 16 more women came forward to say they had been sexually abused by the retired doctor. Further victims were later identified.

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At his Sept. 8, 2020, sentencing hearing, 20 of Hoyte’s original victims gave statements describing the impact his sexual abuse had on them.

Many described the horror at being referred to a specialist in the hopes of having their medical conditions finally diagnosed, only to be sexually abused.

“I cried until there were no more tears left,” one woman said, of her reaction after leaving Hoyte’s office at the Peter Lougheed Centre.

“I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad, it was my fault … I now know that’s not true.”

Another victim described being referred to Hoyte for a “mystery disease,” which had defied diagnosis by other physicians.

“I went into the hospital filled with hope,” she said, reading her own statement.

“He would be the one to resolve the mystery.”

But Hoyte had other ideas, the woman said.

“Instead of finding a hero I learned the true meaning of a monster … they prey upon your vulnerability,” she said.

“Monsters depend on your silence.”

Like many of the victims, she said having the ability to express her pain in court, something she said she was deprived of when he pleaded guilty, was cathartic.

“Today I will not be silenced,” she told Court of King’s Bench Justice Jim Eamon.

“I am using (my voice) to defeat a monster.”

Before Eamon sentenced him Hoyte addressed the gallery, where 18 of his victims were seated.

“I am deeply ashamed and I wish I had a magical power to help you heal,” he said.

“I do not expect forgiveness, but I am truly sorry.”

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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