Former Yorkton doctor must go to prison for sexual assaults after court dismisses appeal

The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan dismissed Dr. Mohammad Haque's appeal last week. In 2018 when he was convicted on four counts of sexual assault and received a global sentence of 30 months of incarceration, according to court documents. (Saskatchewan Law Courts - image credit)
The Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan dismissed Dr. Mohammad Haque's appeal last week. In 2018 when he was convicted on four counts of sexual assault and received a global sentence of 30 months of incarceration, according to court documents. (Saskatchewan Law Courts - image credit)

Saskatchewan's Court of Appeal has denied an appeal by a former physician that was first sentenced to 30 months behind bars in 2018.

The province's highest court dismissed Dr. Mohammad Haque's appeal of his conviction and sentence on Oct. 31.

The former doctor, who practised as a gynecologist in Yorkton, Sask., was found guilty of four of 16 charges of sexual assault more than four years ago. Yorkton is about 175 kilometres northeast of Regina.

Haque argued in his appeal that the original trial judge had misunderstood evidence, unevenly scrutinized evidence and gave insufficient reasoning for the judgment, among other grounds. The appeal judge dismissed all of these arguments.

Haque was on judicial interim release, under conditions, pending the outcome of his appeal, according to the court documents.

After the judgment on the appeal, the judge ordered the former physician to surrender himself into custody at any RCMP detachment in Saskatchewan.

"Given his age, the fact that he is resident in Ontario, and the difficulties that are sometimes experienced with interprovincial travel, I would depart from this Court's customary practices and allow Dr. Haque up to seven days from the issuance of these reasons to surrender himself," said the document.

Haque was 74 years old when he was found guilty in 2018.

RCMP began its investigation in 2001 when a woman came forward alleging sexual assault.

A staff sergeant told CBC in 2016 that 12 women approached officials with similar complaints.

Haque was arrested in London, Ont., in February 2016 and charged later that month.

Allegations spanned 1989 to 2012. Haque practised obstetrics and gynecology in Yorkton during that time, according to the court document.

One woman said Haque performed surgery on her without her informed consent. She said she suffered painful side effects as a result.

Another woman accused Haque of making sexualized comments, and touching her breasts and genital area for no medical purpose. The complainant alleged Haque pressed his "private area" against her butt and lower back, placed his hand in the region of her genitals and told her that is where her partner should touch her, according to the court document.

A key factor in the Crown's argument four years ago was that Haque "abused a position of trust and authority when he did these things to his patients," said Crown Prosecutor Andrew Wyatt in 2018. The judge agreed it was a breach of trust.

Haque also had a history of complaints with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan.

In 2013, the College investigated Haque and charged him on six counts of unbecoming, improper, unprofessional, or discreditable conduct.

The college said in 2016 that it had been in contact with RCMP about Haque over the years.