Doctor testifies in own defence, denies sexually assaulting patient

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Dr. Oluwarotimi (Tim) Fashoranti, 64, denied sexually assaulting a patient in 2020. (CBC - image credit)
Dr. Oluwarotimi (Tim) Fashoranti, 64, denied sexually assaulting a patient in 2020. (CBC - image credit)

The Nova Scotia doctor accused of sexually assaulting a patient in his office has emphatically denied all the allegations against him.

Dr. Oluwarotimi (Tim) Fashoranti, 64, testified in his own defence Thursday at his sexual assault trial in provincial court in Amherst, N.S. He denied each of the allegations made by a woman about an encounter in his office on July 31, 2020.

The woman alleges Fashoranti groped her breast during the course of an abdominal exam. She also said during her testimony earlier in the trial that he pulled her bottoms away and examined her pubic area.

"I never examined her breast," Fashoranti said during his testimony.

He answered several questions from the Crown prosecutor with "absolutely not" or "that is incorrect," but also said "I don't recall" several times.

No chaperone

Fashoranti said he was distracted and concerned that day because the patient before the woman had an irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation. Fashoranti said he was trying to get the man to go to the hospital but he was resisting.

It was in that context, he testified, that the woman went into his office and he followed.

She testified the door closed behind them. An office employee has testified that when she tried to follow Fashoranti and the woman she found the door locked. Fashoranti testified he was "shocked" to learn that when told later.

At the time, Fashoranti was under restrictions imposed by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia following an earlier complaint against him. He was not supposed to examine any female patient without a chaperone present.

The office employee, Pam Bryan, was supposed to be that chaperone. Fashoranti said Bryan called him that evening to say she had heard from the woman and she had told Bryan she was "uncomfortable" with the examination.

"I was shocked," he told the court.

Abdominal pain

Fashoranti testified the woman had come in complaining of abdominal pain so he started palpating her abdomen to find out where it hurt. He said he was concerned because she said she'd had the pain for about four weeks and he felt that was far too long. He said at one point when he was tapping her abdomen she said "ouch."

Fashoranti told the Crown he had never in his medical career accidentally touched or brushed a woman's breast and he denied touching the breast of the woman in this case, although he admitted to the Crown he was palpating her chest near her breasts.

Fashoranti was supposed to be the last witness at trial and Crown and defence were supposed to make their closing arguments Thursday afternoon.

But after she finished questioning Fashoranti, Crown prosecutor Mary Ellen Nurse told the court she had learned over the lunch hour that new evidence had developed in this case. She asked for time to consider that evidence. The matter will return to court in two weeks.

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