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TIMELINE: Kitchener neurologist faces 50 counts of sexual assault

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Warning: This story includes discussion of sexual assault.

Nearly two years after it began, the trial of a former Kitchener, Ont. neurologist charged with sexually assaulting dozens of female patients continues at the Waterloo Region Courthouse. 

Jeffrey Sloka faces 50 counts of sexual assault in what is one of the largest investigations of its kind in Ontario. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The incidents are alleged to have happened at Sloka's office at the Kaufman Building at Grand River Hospital between January 2010 and July 2017.

Here’s a look back at some of the key moments from the case:

September 2017: Restrictions are placed on Dr. Jeffrey Sloka’s practice at Grand River Hospital after at least two patients make complaints to the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Sloka is told not to perform skin examinations. He cannot be left alone with patients during professional encounters, and signs are to be posted throughout his office indicating he is required to be accompanied while seeing or treating patients.

April 30, 2019: A disciplinary committee of The College of Physicians and Surgeons strips Sloka of his medical licence in the wake of allegations he sexually abused four patients. The patients were all treated by Sloka between 2010 and 2017.

The allegations include telling patients to completely undress for an exam, inadequately draping them, touching their breasts and performing invasive pelvic and rectal exams without medical cause.

May 8, 2019: CTV News learns 22 complaints, in addition to the four heard during Sloka’s disciplinary hearing, have been made against the neurologist.

“I’m speaking out because I want other women to know that it’s okay to come forward, it’s okay to share your story,” a former patient who was referred to Sloka for persistent migraines tells CTV News.

“I wasn’t properly draped, I started off in a gown but the gown was removed without discussing it with me. I was, what I believe, touched unnecessarily and not for medical purposes."

Sept. 24, 2019: Sloka is arrested and criminally charged with 34 counts of sexual assault. Police say they believe there may be more victims.

February 2020: The total number of sexual assault charges against Sloka has risen to 69.

The mother of one of Sloka’s alleged victims speaks to CTV News.

“You’re desperate for help. You’re scared, and you’re desperate, and you put all of your trust into that individual, and it’s horrible.”

She says she’s seen significant changes in her daughter.

“Her self-confidence isn’t what it was. She was very bubbly, outgoing individual. She’s not that way anymore.”

The mother also says her daughter’s encounter with Sloka affected her medical care.

“There was a terrible gap. We spent three days in and out of a Woodstock hospital because we couldn’t go to Kitchener.”

June 17, 2021: Waterloo regional police lay eight additional sexual assault charges against Sloka.

September 2021: Sloka pleads not guilty to 63 counts of sexual assault and the trial begins. Some charges have been withdrawn at the request of the Crown.

The trial is by judge alone.

The first witness to take the stand saw Sloka in 2010 for an assessment after she blacked out and lost her licence.

She testifies he told her he had to do a physical exam to ensure she hadn’t had a seizure before he could help her get her licence back and also needed to check for signs of drug use. She says he examined her vagina.

Sept. 22 2022: A medical expert qualified to speak to the standards for neurological exams takes the stand.

“Neurologists should not do a vaginal exam,” neurologist Dr. Vera Bril says. “It is far outside our standard of practice. Far, far outside.”

Sloka is now facing 50 counts of sexual assault.

Aug. 2, 2023: Sloka begins testifying in his own defence. After speaking about his process and reasoning for conducting breast, pelvic and rectal exams, his lawyer starts walking him through all 50 complainant files one by one.

Sloka frequently disagrees with patient testimony, denying some incidents happened altogether, or offering medical reasons for why he performed certain exams.

The process takes three weeks.

Aug. 29, 2023: The Crown begins cross-examining Sloka.

If you are a victim of sexual assault, help is available. The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region's 24-hour support line can be reached at 519-741-8633

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