Trial begins for former Kitchener neurologist facing multiple sexual assault charges

A trial is underway for a former Kitchener neurologist facing dozens of sexual assault charges.

Jeffrey Sloka pleaded not-guilty to 63 counts of sexual assault on Monday morning. Six counts were withdrawn at the request of the Crown.

Sloka spent several years practicing at Grand River Hospital before his licence was revoked in April 2019 following five complaints from patients to the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

On Sept. 24, 2019, Sloka was arrested and charged in 34 separate sexual assaults. Twenty-nine more charges were added on Dec. 10, 2019.

Waterloo regional police reported eight more charges against him on June 17.

In the Crown's opening statement on Monday, Sidney McLean said the assaults allegedly took place between 2010 and 2017 at Sloka's private neurology practice at the Kaufman Building at Grand River Hospital.

McLean said all the women were patients, sent to Sloka for what she described as “urgent care of serious and in some cases life-altering medical conditions.”

The Crown is alleging Sloka exploited their trust in him as a neurologist.

The Crown said the women report common experiences. In many cases, Sloka would perform breast exams that were not like other breast exams patients had experienced.

According to the Crown, women will testify they were asked to take their clothes off for a physical exam and were not properly draped, or in some cases examined while completely naked. Several women reported getting vaginal exams where Sloka ended up using his fingers for vaginal and anal penetration.

Thirty-nine complainants were between the ages of 15 and 25 when they say they were assaulted, the Crown said.

The Crown also described many women telling someone after their appointment about what happened. A few did Google searches trying to figure out what is normally done as part of a neurological exam.

Sloka's trial is expected to last into 2022, with some breaks between trial dates.

The trial is by judge alone.