REFERRAL TO DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE
Motion to Refer Specified Allegations to Discipline
On September 8, 2022 members of a panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee moved that after investigating this complaint, making reasonable efforts to consider all records and documents the panel considers relevant and considering all submissions, the panel directs that, pursuant to section 26(1) paragraph 1 of the Health Professions Procedural Code the following specified allegations be referred to the Discipline Committee:
1. Sarabpreet Ghatoura (the “Registrant”) registered with the College of Homeopaths of Ontario (the “College”) on or about May 3, 2016.
2. The Registrant resigned from the College on or about April 1, 2022.
3. It is alleged that on or about December 8, 2020 the Registrant sexually assaulted and/or sexually abused a client at his clinic.
4. It is alleged that on or about December 13, 2021 the Registrant was found guilty of sexually assaulting the client.
5. It is alleged that the Registrant has not appealed the finding.
Allegations of Professional Misconduct
6. It is alleged that the above noted conduct constitutes professional misconduct:
a. pursuant to section 51(1)(a) of the Health Professions Procedural Code, being Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 as the
registrant was found guilty of an offence that is relevant to the registrant’s suitability to practise;
b. pursuant to section 51(1)(b.1) of the Code as the registrant sexually abused the client; and/or
c. pursuant to section 51(1)(c) of the Code, as set out in one or more of the following paragraphs of section 1 of Ontario Regulation 315/12 made
under the Homeopathy Act, 2007:
i. Paragraph 48 - Engaging in conduct or performing an act relevant to the practice of the profession that, having regard to all the
circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by registrants as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.
FINDING OF GUILT
On December 13, 2021 a judge in the Ontario Court of Justice found Mr. Ghatoura guilty of sexual assault. The sexual assault took place at his clinic and towards a client.
The court ordered Mr. Ghatoura to a conditional sentence of 12-months followed by a one-year probation. The judge ordered eighteen conditions for Mr.Ghatoura to follow. Three of the conditions include the following:
16. Do not practice any homeopathic therapies or treatments of any kind, or any other traditional or non-traditional forms of medicine.
17. You [Mr. Ghatoura] must surrender your homeopathy license to the association that you are a member of and not renew it.
18. Do not operate a homeopathic business or advertise any therapeutic services in your name.
This Order continues to apply whether you [Mr. Ghatoura] are in Canada or outside of Canada. This order applies anywhere in the world.
Further the court made an Order [for Mr. Ghatoura] to comply with the Sex Offender Information Registration Act for a period of 10 years and prohibited Mr. Ghatoura from possessing any firearm, crossbow, restricted weapon, ammunition and explosive substance for two years.
Proceedings by the College of Homeopaths of Ontario
In December 2020 the College first became aware of the sexual assault charge against Mr. Ghatoura. The charge alleged that Mr. Ghatoura had sexually assaulted a client in his clinic earlier in December. The Registrar immediately commenced an investigation pursuant to s. 75(1)(a) of the Health Professions Procedural Code.
The Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee considered imposing an interim order pursuant to s. 25.4(1) of the Health Professions Procedural Code. However, Mr. Ghatoura signed an undertaking voluntarily agreeing to conditions. Therefore, an interim order was not required.
Effective January 25, 2021 the Registrar imposed the following terms, conditions and limitations on Mr. Ghatoura’s certificate of registration (as a result of signing the undertaking):
That Mr. Ghatoura will refrain from practising homeopathy unless:
i. He obtains a signed Acknowledgement and Consent from his client;
ii. He maintains the signed Acknowledgment and Consent in the client file;
iii. He ensures that the Acknowledgement and Consent is provided to his client from a person other than himself;
iv. He ensures that the Acknowledgement and Consent is explained to his client from a person other than himself;
v. He posts a sign in his clinic waiting room advising clients about the investigation and the Acknowledgement and Undertaking.
However, in light of the order of the court, namely that Mr. Ghatoura be prohibited from practising homeopathy, the ICRC will notify Mr. Ghatoura that he is no longer permitted to practise and that failure to do would breach the court order.
The College has completed its investigation. The ICRC has considered all of the information collected and pursuant to s. 26(1) of the Health Professions Procedural Code has referred the matter to the Discipline Committee.