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Doctor who sexually assaulted teen given five years

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A former Winnipeg doctor was handed five years in prison this morning for his "insidious" sexual assault on an injured teen boy at the Children's Hospital.

Walid Abdelhamid, 33, will be deported after serving a further 19-1/2 months behind bars for the June 2009 assault on the victim, who was 15 at the time and vulnerable as he was recovering from a serious back injury and could barely move.

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"I have no hesitation in concluding that the acts of Abdelhamid towards (the victim) constituted a major sexual assault in the circumstances of a pediatric resident holding a position of trust towards this young patient," Court of Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey said.

"This case constituted a flagrant breach of trust by Abdelhamid who was determined to engage in inappropriate sexual contact with an incapacitated victim," McKelvey said.

The now-18-year-old testified last year he awoke twice in the middle of the night to find Abdelhamid fondling him. Both incidents occurred when he was immobilized and receiving morphine for pain.

The first incident happened around 2 a.m. The teen said he woke up and found Abdelhamid hovering over him, touching his genitals.

The incident lasted moments before a nurse walked in and Abdelhamid quickly pulled his hands back and left the room.

The teen said when he woke up around 5 a.m., Abdelhamid was attempting to perform oral sex on him.

Abdelhamid fled again, and this time the teen rang the buzzer to summon a nurse and disclose what had happened. His parents were notified and police were called.

Abdelhamid, who hails from Libya, was arrested and granted bail. He fled the country soon after but was caught and detained in Greece and spent many months fighting extradition.

McKelvey refused to grant Abdelhamid credit for the nine months he spent battling to avoid coming back to Canada face trial.

"His period of incarceration pending the contested extradition proceedings was solely attributable to his decision to leave Canada," McKelvey said.

"To allow any such credit would, in essence, serve to reward Abdelhamid for time spent in custody while a fugitive from the law."

McKelvey also refused to grant him double credit for the 27 months he's spent on remand dealing with his case. He would have been eligible for it because he was charged prior to Parliament changing the Criminal Code to disallow two-for-one credit.

The judge allowed him 1.5 to one credit.

The Crown sought up to seven years in the widely-publicized case, while defence lawyer Martin Minuk asked for no more jail time to be imposed on his client.

Abdelhamid declined to speak when McKelvey offered him a chance to this morning.

"My lawyer has said everything that needed to be said," Abdelhamid told her.

Minuk said after court he would discuss a potential appeal with his client.

It's possible Abdelhamid could face deportation sooner, depending on when and if parole officials deem him eligible for parole or mandatory statutory release.

-- With files from Mike McIntyre


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