An ex-city chiropractor convicted of violently sexually assaulting a former girlfriend was sent packing to prison today.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Colleen Suche handed Marlin Vandermeulen a 3-1/2 year sentence for several crimes, including sexual assault causing bodily harm and multiple counts of assault.
"The events underlying the convictions demonstrate that within an intimate relationship, Mr. Vandermeulen was controlling, sexually demeaning and easily moved to rage," Suche said.
Arguably the most serious crime Vandermeulen committed was a brutal sexual assault on the victim at her home on July 30, 2009.
She testified she went to hospital and was encouraged by a nurse to report what happened to police but declined to come forward at that time.
Investigators wouldn't learn of the attack until months later, days after Vandermeulen was arrested for a separate incident involving the victim at a downtown hotel.
The Crown sought a six-year sentence overall.
Suche, however, ruled Vandermeulen has already faced punishment by seeing his once-successful chiropractic career decimated — likely forever — by the convictions.
He's entitled to some leniency because of that, she found.
At a prior hearing, dozens of reference letters were filed attesting to Vandermeulen's good character. Some of his supporters expressed disbelief that he had been charged.
To friends, family, former patients and many in the general community, Suche said it's apparent Vandermeulen "presented as a caring, generous, kind and respectful individual."
Even the victim was torn, saying he was like "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Suche said.
Vandermeulen himself refused to admit wrongdoing but said he accepted Suche had convicted him.
At a previous hearing, he apologized to the victim, said he bore no animosity towards her. Recent years have been the most challenging of his life, he said.
His comments suggest he has a lack of insight into his crimes and remorse, Suche suggested.
"It sounds to me that he's sorry for what has happened to him — not about what he did," Suche said.
In addition to the prison time, Vandermeulen must register as a sex-offender for the next 20 years.