A Winnipeg doctor has been convicted of sexually assaulting a teen patient inside the Children’s Hospital.
Walid Abdelhamid, 32, will be sentenced later this year after learning his fate on Friday. Abdelhamid was working at Health Sciences Centre in 2009 when he twice assaulted the then-15-year-old boy, who had suffered a serious back injury while riding a motorbike.
The now-18-year-old told court during the trial he awoke twice in the middle of the night to find Abdelhamid fondling him. Both incidents occurred when he was immobilized and being dosed with morphine for pain.
A videotaped police interview was taken in his hospital room hours after the alleged attacks. A copy of the statement was played in court and shows the boy in obvious physical discomfort hooked up to tubes as he awaits surgery.
"At first I was thinking it was like normal and he was checking something," he told police in the statement.
A key issue at trial was the youth’s state of mind as a result of being medicated. Defence lawyer Marty Minuk repeatedly suggested the young man may have been too high to comprehend what happened. But he denied that was the case, saying he knew exactly what was going on.
The first incident happened around 2 a.m., according to the teen. He said he awoke to find Abdelhamid hovering over him, touching his genitals.
"The whole time I was pretending to sleep," he told police in the interview played in court. The incident only lasted a few seconds before a nurse walked in and Abdelhamid quickly pulled his hands back and left the room. "I felt scared and just wanted to forget about it," he explained when asked by police whether he told anyone what had happened.
The teen said he woke up again around 5 a.m. — there was a clock next to his bed — to find Abdelhamid had returned and was now attempting to perform oral sex on him.
"I told him to stop, asked him what he was doing," he said. Abdelhamid allegedly fled again, and this time the teen rang the buzzer to summon a nurse and disclose what had just happened. His parents were also notified and police were called in immediately.
Abdelhamid was released on bail following his arrest only to flee the country and end up in Greece. He was arrested and deported back to Canada in May 2011 and has remained in custody since.