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Medical expert takes the stand in trial of Kitchener, Ont. neurologist

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Warning: This article contains graphic details that some readers may find disturbing.

The trial of former Kitchener neurologist, Jeffrey Sloka, who is facing dozens of sexual assault charges, continued in court Thursday.

A medical expert qualified to speak to the standards for neurological exams took the stand as the trial continues more than a year after it began.

According to the Crown, Sloka now faces 50 counts of sexual assault.

In September of 2021, Sloka pleaded not guilty to 63 counts of sexual assault. Six counts were withdrawn at the request of the Crown.

It’s been more than three years since the first charges were laid.

These alleged incidents happened at his private practice office at the Kaufman Building at Grand River Hospital between January 2010 and July 2017.

The Crown spent the day asking neurologist Dr. Vera Bril, who was brought in as an expert, to speak on the standards for neurological exams.

The court heard that Sloka allegedly asked female patients, including some teenagers, to undress for certain physical and skin examinations, and he touched patients’ breasts and genitalia.

On the stand, Dr. Bril was asked if there is ever a reason for neurologists to touch genitalia.

Dr. Bril told the courtroom: “Neurologists should not do a vaginal exam.” Adding, “It is far outside our standard of practice. Far, far outside.”

The Crown also referenced one instance when a patient visited Sloka complaining of headaches where breast and skin exams were allegedly performed, but no documentation was made of those exams.

In response, Dr. Bril told the court, “There must be documentation of a breast exam, and there is not.”

Adding: “You have to twist your mind so much to try and get to a reason to do these exams.”

Sloka has pleaded not guilty to all counts of the charges he is facing.

The trial continues on Monday.

'Their wounds are open'

Sara Casselman, the executive director of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region said these lengthy trials can reopen the wounds for survivors.

“The reality of navigating the court system is that folks — their wounds are open during this time. It’s very hard to move on when everything is still in the process,” said Casselman.

“As a sexual assault support centre, we wrap survivors in community care…so if there is someone that wants that support they can reach out to our centre,” said Casselman.

Support for those who have or are experiencing sexual assault could be found by visiting the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region.

A 24-hour support line can be reached by calling 519 741 8633.

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