Duncan physiotherapist Crichton given conditional sentence in sex assaults

Former Cowichan Valley physiotherapist Campbell Ernest Crichton was handed a two-year conditional sentence on April 17, nearly five months after he was convicted of five counts of sexual assault.

Crichton’s sentence of two years less a day will require him to abide by a curfew, confining him to his Mill Bay home between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. for the first year, and 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. for the second year. He also has a 10-year firearm prohibition and must pay a victim surcharge of $100 for each count, along with a two-year probation order with several conditions.

Crichton practiced physiotherapy in the Valley between 1992 and 2011.

The assaults were first reported in March of 2011, after which dozens of women came forward with accusations.

He was initially charged with 22 counts of sexual assault when his trial began in June.

Crown prosecutor Leah Fontaine and defence counsel Michelle Daneliuk had agreed on acquittals for most of the counts due to insufficient evidence.

Largely similar from complainant to complainant, the charges against Crichton typically involved him rubbing his clothed genitals on patients during treatment, and touching patients inappropriately. The trial was beset by legal issues, largely based on insufficient evidence due to records not being preserved, either by Crichton himself or agencies like the Insurance Corporation of B.C. The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP expressed their gratitude to the more than 40 women who came to the police with reports and were willing to participate in the judicial process.

"We know it was very difficult for them," Cpl. Krista Hobday said. "We believe there were many more that chose to resolve the crimes against them in a private manner and those that we will never know about. We encourage every victim of a criminal offence to report the incident to the police and if not the police then to someone; help comes in many guises."