Sarnia pediatrician charged with indecent assault

The complainant demonstrates in front of Dr. Singh’s Sarnia office. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz & George Mathewson

Sarnia Police have charged a city pediatrician with one counts of an indecent assault on a female.

Dr. Kunwar Singh, 76, was arrested Dec. 5 after appearing at Sarnia Police headquarters. He was subsequently released and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 8.

Police said the alleged offence occurred during a patient assessment at Singh’s office in 1982 when the complainant, now 51, was 15 years of age.

Singh’s arrest comes several weeks after a woman began demonstrating in front of Dr. Singh’s East Street office. A sign she held up to passing motorists read, “Dr. Singh molested me as a child.”

A nearby sandwich board listed Singh’s previous criminal convictions and disciplinary sanctions by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

“He needs to not see patients any more. He’s a danger to our community,” the woman, whose identity is protected, told The Journal.

“Practicing medicine to me is a privilege, not a right. And he lost that privilege four decades ago.”

In 1991, Singh was convicted of 16 counts of sexual assault and indecent assault and sentenced to two years probation.

The college found him guilty of professional conduct and suspended his licence for six months.

The incidents involved eight hospital employees and two mothers of Singh’s patients and including inappropriate comments and unwanted touching, kissing and the grabbing and rubbing of the victim’s legs and buttocks.

When Singh attempted to regain hospital privileges at the former St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1992, nurses launched a petition and were successful in having him banned from the hospital.

Two years later, the college again found Singh guilty of professional misconduct. He falsified a document while applying to register with the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago. This time, he licence to practice was suspended for three months.

The complainant behind the new sexual assault allegation said she knew Singh was charged in 1991 and had assumed he was no longer practicing.

When she learned he was still seeing patients, she said, she contacted both the college and city police and filed formal complaints in October.

“It destroyed me as a teenager,” she said of the alleged assault. “It’s had a lifelong effect. I’ve never trusted doctors. I likely never will.