Sex assault trial begins May 26

A Duncan physiotherapist who has been charged with sexually assaulting 23 women has elected for a judge-alone trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Campbell Crichton’s trial is expected to begin in Duncan on May 26 with two weeks of voir dires. Voir dires – known as a trial within a trial – are held to determine whether the calling of certain evidence can be permitted.

After the legal issues have been decided, Crichton’s trial is scheduled to begin June 16.

Crichton was charged in March 2011 with five counts of sexual assault, alleged to have occurred between 1996 and June 2009 while he was practising at Cowichan Physiotherapy.

According to a court document, more complainants came forward after the RCMP announced Crichton’s arrest in a statement. In May 2011, the College of Physical Therapists of B.C. received a complaint that Crichton had been sexually inappropriate with a female patient. The college investigated the complaint.

Crichton, without admitting any liability, consented to a reprimand and a suspension of two months. A second complaint was made against Crichton in 2013, but the college was not able to locate him and investigate the complaint, said registrar Brenda Hudson.

Crichton did not renew his registration with the College of Physical Therapists of B.C. and has not been a member since 2013, she said.