Skip to content

Second woman testifies at doctor?s sexual assault trial

BY KEITH LACEY [email protected] A Chelmsford woman testified Thursday at the trial of a physician charged with numerous counts of sexually assaulting female patients.

A Chelmsford woman testified Thursday at the trial of a physician charged with numerous counts of sexually assaulting female patients.

Her story was very similar to previous witness testimony alleging sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Nanka-Bruce during an internal examination in the late 1970s.

The woman testified she was receiving an internal examination by Nanka-Bruce at his Dowling office when the doctor started sexually stimulating her with his hands.

She felt very uncomfortable, but didn?t know what to say since she trusted Nanka-Bruce and this had never happened to her before, the witness said.

She left his office immediately after the examination.

?I just wanted to get out of there,? she recalled.

She remembered the incident ?as if it happened only yesterday.? After she left his office, she went across the street to a coffee shop, where she told female acquaintances about the incident.

?I told them if I didn?t know any better, I?d say he was fooling around down there,? she said. ?I felt it was wrong.?

She never returned to Nanka-Bruce for any further internal examinations, although she did attend for other medical issues.

The woman also recommended Nanka-Bruce to her daughter, another complainant in the trial, when her daughter was looking for a physician.

Nanka-Bruce, 61, has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sexual assault and three counts of indecent assault. All the complainants allege Nanka-Bruce sexually abused them during medical examinations.

Before this incident, the witness said found Nanka-Bruce to be a concerned and kind physician who was good with patients.

?I liked him, I trusted him.?

When asked why she would recommend her daughter to Nanka-Bruce after alleging being sexually assaulted by him, the woman replied ?I was in denial.?

She explained she only came forward to police after hearing media reports about allegations made against Nanka-Bruce by other women.

?My thought was I should be a voice for the other women...because this had happened to me,? she said.

The trial, expected to last three weeks, is being presided over by Justice Ian Gordon of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Gordon has imposed a publication ban on any evidence that could reveal the identity of any of the victims.

The first female complainant testified Nanka-Bruce massaged her private area while conducting a Pap smear in his Dowling office in the late 1970s.

The incident lasted several minutes and made her feel humiliated and embarrassed because she became sexually aroused and couldn?t understand why he was doing this, she said.

She didn?t know what to say, left his office and never went back to Nanka-Bruce again, she said.

She contacted police after a media report informed her the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) was conducting an investigation into allegations made against Nanka-Bruce by female patients, she said.

The trial heard the CPSO conducted a disciplinary hearing against Nanka-Bruce in March 2003.

Several allegations of sexual assault were withdrawn before the hearing and Nanka-Bruce was found guilty of misconduct and reprimanded. The reprimand specifically stated he was not to be with any female patient unless in the presence of another person over the age of 23, who was approved by the CPSO.

Steven Wright, an investigator for the CPSO, said six of the nine complainants in this trial came forward with allegations against Nanka-Bruce following media reports of the disciplinary hearing.