Allegations against former Woodstock doctor date to 2013: Court records

Some of the allegations against a prominent former Woodstock doctor facing child pornography and voyeurism charges stretch back nearly a decade and involve three people, court records show.

Robert Stern, 58, appeared in court this week on nine child pornography-related charges. Woodstock police had issued a Canada-wide warrant on July 28 for his arrest on charges of distributing, possessing and accessing child pornography.

The charges were laid after investigators seized 50 devices during a search of a home on July 7, a Woodstock police investigator said in August. No images of his former patients were found, police said.

Stern turned himself in to Woodstock police on Aug. 15 and was granted bail the same day under a pledge to pay $6,500 if he breaches his release conditions that include living with his three sureties.

In early December, police announced six more charges against him, including making child pornography, possession of child pornography, three counts of voyeurism, and voyeurism by recording for a sexual purpose.

Stern was no longer practising medicine by the time of his arrest, said a spokesperson for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, the regulatory body for doctors in Ontario. He was released from custody following the additional charges and is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 7.

Court records show the offences are alleged to have occurred in Woodstock between April 1, 2013, and July 7, 2022.

Three of the four voyeurism charges stem from allegations on Aug. 1, 2020, involving three complainants — a man and two women who share the same last name. Their identities are protected under a court-imposed publication ban.

Stern started practising as a family doctor in Woodstock in 1991 and went on to serve as the chair of emergency medicine and family practice at Woodstock Hospital. Hospital officials have said he hasn't had medical privileges there since 2014.

Stern also chaired the regional wing of the Ontario Medical Association and was president of the Oxford County medical society for more than 20 years, according to a now-deleted biography on a medical education website. His primary location was Tillsonburg Memorial Hospital, but the hospital has said he no longer practises there.

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Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press