First, do no harm.
But Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte did so much.
That well-known passage from the original Hippocratic oath guiding doctors' ethics and responsibilities was a theme brought up over and over again at Hoyte's sentencing hearing Tuesday as victim impact statements from 20 of the 28 women he sexually assaulted over the last three decades were read aloud.
"This old man used me for his sexual gratification and then billed the province for it," wrote one victim.
In pleading guilty earlier this year, Hoyte admitted to groping and fondling dozens of female patients between the ages of 17 and 46 years old between 1983 and 2013. It took many of the women years, even decades, to report Hoyte to police.
During the plea, the judge heard that Hoyte's patients were instructed by the doctor to undress from the waist up, even though they were seeking treatment for serious neurological issues like migraines, seizures and MS.
Hoyte would then untie and lower the gowns before fondling his victims' breasts. The victims said they felt mortified, vulnerable and confused as the doctor groped and grabbed at their breasts, pinching and stroking their nipples.
Prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood and defence lawyer Alain Hepner proposed a joint recommendation for a three-year sentence.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Jim Eamon didn't immediately indicate whether he would sentence Hoyte Tuesday or wait. The judge indicated he hasn't decided whether he will accept the joint position.
The sentencing hearing took place in the ceremonial courtroom so that all of the victims who wanted to be there would have the space, given COVID-19 distancing protocols.
A publication ban protects the identities of the women.
'Victims like myself found our voices'
In 2018, an investigation began after a woman came forward to police. Investigators discovered two others had previously reported the doctor over the years for similar behaviour.
But there is power and safety in numbers, the women pointed out, and many only found strength to come forward after the first three charges were laid.
After it was reported that Hoyte was facing three sexual assault charges, 25 more woman contacted police with similar stories.
"Victims like myself found our voices and the Calgary Police Service sex crimes unit believed us," wrote one woman in her statement.
'Why didn't I say something?'
Many of them wrote that they blamed themselves. Several said they knew what Hoyte had done was wrong but didn't initially report the assaults because it was their stories versus a trusted doctor's.
"Why didn't I say something?" one victims wondered aloud. "I could have prevented others from being abused. I am sorry for the years I remained silent."
Many of Hoyte's former patients described feeling of humiliated, degraded and terrified after they were assaulted. They said they felt worthless, helpless and shameful.
The women were all suffering neurological symptoms, with many terrified they had significant medical issues.
"No one is sent to a neurologist because they're having a good day," said one woman.
Another victim said she hoped Hoyte would be her "hero;" Hoyte turned out to be a "monster."
The judge heard from a woman who said Hoyte wasted her time.
"I should have been with someone who actually wanted to find out what's wrong with me," she wrote.
When given the chance to address the court, Hoyte said he feels "remorse, shame and regret."
The neurologist acknowledged the trauma and pain he caused his victims and "the scars you all carry."
"I have hurt you and my entire family," he said. "I do not expect forgiveness but I am truly sorry."