Vernon physiotherapist charged with sexual assault set to plead guilty | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon physiotherapist charged with sexual assault set to plead guilty

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October 03, 2019 - 7:00 AM

VERNON - A Vernon physiotherapist charged with multiple counts of sexual assault intends to plead guilty at the Vernon courthouse at his next appearance.

The Vernon court registry confirmed Stephen Witvoet is scheduled to enter guilty pleas to at least some of the charges and likely be sentenced Oct. 28.

Witvoet was originally arrested December 2017 and charged with two counts of sexual assault. The incidents, which were made by patients undergoing treatment, are alleged to have happened in July 2015 and November 2016.

Witvoet originally denied the allegations and pled not guilty May 21.

Several weeks later Witvoet was re-arrested and charged with two more counts of sexual assault for incidents alleged to have taken place between September 2015 and January 2016.

Following this arrest, Vernon RCMP released a media statement urging victims to come forward. The statement said that Witvoet had been practising for 14 years in Vernon and there was potential that more victims would come forward.

Twelve more victims came forward, taking the total number of sexual assault charges against Witvoet to 16. The incidents are alleged to have taken place between June 2009 and April 2018.

Witvoet practised out of the Thrive Physiotherapy and Sport Injury Clinic in Vernon. Its website has now been taken down. A 2015 issue of Okanagan Health and Wellness Magazine states Witvoet owned the clinic and had also taught at the Okanagan College of Massage Therapy in Vernon.

Following Witvoet's 2019 arrest, the College of Physical Therapists imposed conditions on Witvoet which prohibited him from treating female patients of any age and stating he must keep a door or curtain open at all times when treating male patients, along with other restrictions.


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