By Kevin Martin - Calgary Herald - 09/01/2024 - [USA] - [Keith Hoyte]
Disgraced Calgary neurologist Keith Hoyte is heading back to a federal penitentiary to serve another three-year sentence for sexually abusing female patients.
Justice Allan Fradsham on Tuesday agreed with Crown prosecutor Rose Greenwood that Hoyte should receive the same sentence handed to him in 2020 for sexually abusing another group of patients.
Hoyte was handed that three-year term on a joint Crown and defence submission for sexually assaulting 28 different women who had been referred to him for neurological problems such as migraine headaches.
He pleaded guilty in December 2022 to sexually abusing a second set of 27 patients, who came forward after he was punished for abusing the first group of victims.
Fradsham said that if Hoyte had been punished for abusing all 55 patients at one time, a six-year term would have been appropriate.
“One might ask: What would the global sentence have been if the two sets of charges had been combined and had formed the subject of one global sentence?” the Calgary Court of Justice judge said, reading in a portion of his written decision.
“Keeping in mind that Dr. Hoyte would then not have received the benefit of a joint sentencing submission, I conclude that the sentence would not have been less than six years. Dr. Hoyte has suffered no disadvantage in the matters having proceeded as they did.”
Fradsham wrote that a further three-year term gave “appropriate, but not excessive, credit for the guilty plea.”
He said a penitentiary term was necessary to deter others in similar positions of trust. Defence counsel Alain Hepner had sought the maximum provincial jail term of two years less a day.
“The need to both denounce Dr. Hoyte’s offences and to deter others in a similar position from engaging in such egregious conduct is paramount,” Fradsham said.
One of the aggravating factors the judge listed was that Hoyte was given a warning by his professional body in 1997, what Greenwood referred to as “a shot across the bow,” to stop his inappropriate behaviour.
One woman, who was not included among Hoyte’s more than four dozen victims, had filed a complaint against him at that time to the Alberta College of Physicians and Surgeons.
“The offences which occurred after 1997 were committed after the offender had been warned by his professional governing body about inappropriate physical contact with his patients,” the judge said.
Fradsham also dismissed Hoyte’s claim of remorse for his conduct, noting he denied any sexual gratification in an assessment by psychologist Dr. Patrick Baillie.
“I conclude that Dr. Hoyte’s expressions of remorse and understanding are not genuine,” he said.
“He has no real insight into his offending behaviour.”
Hoyte, 75, sexually abused the female patients, who ranged in age from 16 to 46, between 1984 and his retirement in 2013. If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can contact Dignity4Patients, whose helpline is open Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm.