NEWS

Aubrey Levin trial jury unable to reach verdict after 3 days

01/27/2013 10:46 EST | Updated 03/29/2013 05:12 EDT
A jury that was given the task of deciding on the fate of a former prominent Calgary psychiatrist accused of molesting several of his court-appointed patients was unable to reach a verdict Sunday evening.

The seven man, four woman jury handed a letter to the judge, after three days of trying to come to a consensus.

"After vigorous and lengthy deliberations, we are unable to reach a verdict on any of the nine charges and are not convinced further deliberations will help," read the letter to the judge.

Justice Donna Shelley decided the jury should sleep on the decision for one more night.

Defence lawyer Chris Archer spoke against the decision, saying, "I don't believe we need to go any further. This is a mistrial."

Lawyers are meeting to discuss next steps and will be addressed by the judge Monday morning.

Dr. Aubrey Levin, 74, is accused of sexually assaulting nine of his male patients, all of whom were assigned to him through the courts between 1999 and 2010.

The case was handed to the jury on Friday but it failed to reach a verdict for a third straight day Saturday.

The allegations came to light in 2010 after one of the patients came forward with secret videos he recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.

The videos, played in court, show Levin undoing the man's belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.

The patient, identified only as R.B. in court, was on probation at the time the videos were taken and was under court order to see Levin twice a month.

The man said he had told authorities about previous assaults and no one believed him, so he bought a spy camera and brought it to his appointments. After Levin was arrested, other former patients came forward with abuse allegations.

Levin, who immigrated to Canada from South Africa, has denied all the allegations and claimed he was conducting examinations to help with sexual dysfunction.

He was frequently used by the courts to assess people and provide expert opinions at hearings.

A juror who was dismissed a couple of weeks ago told the court she'd been approached near the court house and offered an envelope, apparently containing cash, to find Levin not guilty.

The psychiatrist's wife, Erica Levin, 69, has been under house arrest for contempt of court and is expected to be charged with obstruction of justice over the next few days.

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