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Indian doctor held for sexually abusing patients

An Indian-origin doctor in Canada's Grande Prairie city has been charged with sexually abusing his patients over many years, police said.

india Updated: Jun 29, 2008 16:01 IST

An Indian-origin doctor in Canada's Grande Prairie city has been charged with sexually abusing his patients over many years, police said.

Forty-eight-year-old Palaniswami Easwara Murthi was arrested on Thursday and charged with sexually exploiting minor and young patients, five counts of sexual assault and two counts of assault.

A family doctor, Murthi has been running a clinic in Grande Prairie near Vancouver with an Indian woman doctor since 2001.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the allegations of sexual exploitation against him date back to the first year he started his practice in the city.

Among his victims were a girl, a boy and adults in their 30s, the RCMP added.

Murthi was released with the condition that he will not contact any of his alleged victims. He appears in court Monday to face formal charges in the first such case involving an Indian-origin doctor in Canada.

Even as Murthi faces jail for his crimes, he may also be stripped of his practicing licence by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

"We need to have some details with which to make a decision and we need to take it to our investigation chairman who would make a declaration of that," Trevor Theman of the college told Canadian media.

He said the college will "act as quickly as we believe necessary to ensure that the public is protected".

With a population of over 50,000, Grande Prairie is one of the fastest growing cities in the province of Alberta.