Medicine Hat doctor facing new child sex assault charges reopens clinic

·2 min read
Dr. Ian Gebhardt faces two charges of sexual assault and two charges of sexual interference stemming from his time in the York Region north of Toronto in the 1980s. Similar charges were dropped in 2018 by the Crown in Alberta.  (York Regional Police - image credit)
Dr. Ian Gebhardt faces two charges of sexual assault and two charges of sexual interference stemming from his time in the York Region north of Toronto in the 1980s. Similar charges were dropped in 2018 by the Crown in Alberta. (York Regional Police - image credit)

An Alberta family doctor facing new charges of child sexual assault in Ontario has reopened his practice in Medicine Hat.

Dr. Ian Gebhardt faces two charges of sexual assault and two charges of sexual interference stemming from his time in the York Region, just north of Toronto, in the 1980s.

This isn't the first time Gebhardt has faced allegations of sexual assault.

Three years ago, charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation were dropped. The alleged victim in that case was a male with a mental disability, according to court documents.

Email sent to Medicine Hat patients

In an email sent to patients of the the Gebhardt Family Medicine Clinic last week, Gebhardt explains that the clinic is reopening with changes to his practice but does not say why.

"Our focus is shifting," reads part of the email. "Patients must be 16 years of age or older. We are no longer prescribing narcotics except for treating active cancer pain."

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA), Gebhardt is allowed to continue practising as long as he doesn't treat children under the age of 16.

He must also see patients with a health-care chaperone present.

"CPSA's role is not to presume guilt before a criminal or CPSA investigation has taken place. That said, our first priority is to protect the public," the college said.

Gebhardt volunteered with children in the 1980s

In October, cold case investigators with York Regional Police (YRP) laid the charges against Gebhardt. He has yet to be tried on the alleged offences.

Last January, YPS began investigating after a man came forward to report he had been sexually assaulted as a child in 1988 and 1989.

In the course of that investigation, police identified a second man who reported being victimized by Gebhardt in the same time period.

Gebhardt, according to police, "was known to work for volunteer organizations with children in York Region in the '80s."

The doctor has been living in Medicine Hat since 2007 and working there as a family doctor.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting