Vernon physiotherapist stripped of licence | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon physiotherapist stripped of licence

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A Vernon physiotherapist who pleaded guilty to nine charges of sexual assault will never again be allowed to treat female patients and has had his licence cancelled by B.C. body governing physical therapists.

The College of Physical Therapists of B.C. cancelled Stephen Witvoet's registration March 26, and barred him for reapplying for registration for four years.

In October 2019, Witvoet pleaded guilty to nine of 16 charges of sexually assaulting female patients at his Vernon practice between 2009 and 2018. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

Witvoet entered into a consent agreement with the College March 26. He admitted to sexually assaulting multiple female patients. He also agreed to the immediate cancellation of his registration. Witvoet, who first registered with the college in 2005, is allowed to reapply for registration in four years, but if a licence is granted he would not be allowed to treat female patients or practice solo.

Witvoet was originally charged with two counts of sexual assault in December 2017, and following media reporting of the two charges in May 2019, more victims came forward and several months later the physiotherapist was facing 16 charges.

In July 2019, the College took interim action prohibiting Witvoet from treating female patients and imposed several other restrictions while it was conducting its regulatory investigation.

The former physiotherapist was due to be sentenced March 30, but the sentencing was adjourned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The College told it was prepared to follow its regulatory process once Witvoet had been sentenced but due to the court delay, it decided to proceed with its process before sentencing.

Witvoet is next due in court at the end of June to set a date for sentencing.

Find past stories on Stephen Witvoet here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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