Former family physician, 74, charged in relation to historic sexual assaults

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A 74-year-old former family physician has been charged in relation to historical sexual assaults that allegedly happened while he was practicing medicine in Dartmouth in the mid 2000s.

Investigators with the Sexual Assault Investigation Team of the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division charged 74-year-old Graeme Hamilton Bethune with one count of sexual assault in relation to incidents that happened in a residence between 2005 to 2007.

RCMP say Bethune was a family physician at the time of the incidents and was in a position of trust in relation to the victim who was a patient.

Police say they were made aware of the matter in November 2020.

No other details about the incident were provided by police out of "respect and concern for the victim's privacy and wellbeing."

"We encourage anyone who is the victim of sexual assault to contact police. We want victims to know they will not be judged, and will be treated with compassion, dignity and respect throughout the entire investigative process," wrote police in a news release on Tuesday.

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia, Bethune agreed to have his license to practice medicine revoked last year.

In a statement released May 27, 2020, the College said a hearing committee said they had accepted a consent revocation agreement proposed by Bethune, after he "committed professional misconduct by engaging in an inappropriate personal relationship with a vulnerable patient."

Bethune will appear in Halifax Provincial Court at a later date to face the charge.