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Sex assault trial begins for former doctor
Last Updated: Monday, May 17, 2010 | 3:15 PM CT
CBC News

A trial for a former Saskatoon doctor accused of sexual assault and criminal harassment involving four patients and a health-care worker began Monday.

Krishna Vittala began his Court of Queen’s Bench hearing in Saskatoon by pleading not guilty to four charges of sexual assault and one count of harassment.

The alleged incidents date back to 2003, but Vittala wasn’t arrested until 2008.

The first Crown witness in the trial was a health-care worker. Her identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban.

The woman testified that Vittala repeatedly approached her with romantic advances that she would rebuff. Eventually, she told court, his advances came with unwanted sexual touching.

On one occasion he grabbed at her and kissed her without her consent, she said.

The woman said the advances distressed her to the point that she became sick and had to take a medical leave. She testified that she began seeing a psychologist.

When she came back to work, she said, Vittala would turn up for work early and stand and stare at her.

The woman quit her job because of his conduct and its effect on her, she said.

Vittala, who is approaching his 70s, no longer holds a licence to practice medicine in Saskatchewan. He surrendered his licence in June 2008.

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