CALGARY - A Calgary woman accused of tampering with a juror during a sexual assault trial for her psychiatrist husband has been charged with obstruction of justice.
Erica Levin, 69, was taken into custody Thursday and is to appear in provincial court Feb. 14.
She had previously been charged with contempt of court.
Police say they were contacted by Alberta Justice last month after a juror in Dr. Aubrey Levin's trial alleged she had been approached by a relative of the accused and offered cash in return for a not guilty verdict.
The juror was released and police began investigating the allegations.
"In my experience going back over the last 15 years I don't remember a particular case involving tampering with a jury," said Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Bruce Walker at a news conference.
He said the obstruction of justice charge is a serious one.
"If you look at the actual Criminal Code with regard to obstruction of justice, in my opinion tampering with a jury is at the higher end of the spectrum," he said.
"It's taken very seriously when somebody interferes with the judicial process."
The 74-year-old psychiatrist was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting three of his court-appointed patients and sentenced to five years in prison. He was found not guilty on another two counts and the jury couldn't reach a verdict on charges involving four other men.
As the trial entered its latter phases, the juror in question came forward and informed the court that she had been approached by a woman on a transit platform and offered a white envelope containing cash. The juror was dismissed, then Erica Levin was arrested and the trial continued.
Erica Levin's bail hearing heard that the attempted transaction was captured on transit video. Court heard the amount of money offered was believed to be between $1,000 and $10,000. There was no publication ban on details of the hearing.
Walker said there is no indication any other juror was approached.
Erica Levin's lawyer, Allan Fay, told reporters outside court on Jan. 25 that he was arranging to have his client examined by a psychiatric expert.
"I know there's an allegation there was an envelope, but whether there was cash remains to be seen,'' he said at the time.
Fay said the trial of her husband had hurt his client physically, emotionally and psychologically.
"This is a woman who for the past three years has lived with her husband through hell," Fay said.
"She's been cut off from her friends. She hasn't even attended her place of worship for three years. This is a woman who's basically at the end of her rope.''
Chris Archer, the psychiatrist's defence lawyer, has also said Erica Levin is gravely ill.
Aubrey Levin was charged in 2010 with molesting patients who had been under court orders to seek treatment from him. The allegations came to light after one patient came forward with secret videos he recorded during court-ordered sessions with the psychiatrist.
The videos, played in court last fall, showed the South African doctor undoing the man's belt and jeans and appearing to fondle him.
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