Chiropractor Jemal Abdullah Khan pleaded guilty in Grand Court on Friday to nine counts of indecent assault and two counts of insulting behavior.
Complainants in all of the charges were female patients of the defendant. The acts cited occurred between 2013 and 2016. When the charges were read aloud in court for Khan to plead to, each woman was referred to by an initial.
Khan was remanded in custody until a sentencing hearing set for Oct. 12.
The offense of insulting behavior was the taking of photographic images without the individual’s consent in a particular location, such behavior being likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to the person.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran told Justice Charles Quin that the Crown had been made aware that Khan would be entering his pleas that day. The charges he pleaded to related to 10 of 14 complainants [a total of 20 charges were sent up from Summary Court on Sept. 13].
In the Crown’s view, Khan had now pleaded guilty to the most serious counts. For the charges he would have pleaded not guilty to, those complainants had been made aware of the situation, Mr. Moran explained. Given the wide sentencing powers of the court, the public interest would not be served by having a trial relating to the other four complainants, he said.
Defense attorney Laura Larner did not ask for a social inquiry report before sentencing, but Mr. Moran suggested that the court would be assisted by victim impact statements. Justice Quin suggested that the equivalent of such statements could be obtained by the police officer who had dealt with each woman, and he said the Crown could have all the material ready within two weeks.
Ms. Larner asked for longer so that her client could get his affairs in order.
Mr. Moran said if Khan was going to be on bail he would ask for a change in bail conditions. Previously Khan could not treat a female patient without her written consent that confirmed she was aware he was suspended from providing chiropractic/acupuncture treatment by the Council of Professional Allied Medicine and that he faced charges arising from allegations from former female patients. The person giving consent would also have agreed that her contact details could be given to police.
Mr. Moran pointed out that when bail conditions were set, Khan had been charged; now he was convicted of gross breaches of trust over a significant period. He said he would ask for a complete ban on treatment of female patients.
Ms. Larner said there was no good reason to take his bail away at this stage. His patients were aware of the charges against him. She pointed out he was asking for time to get his affairs in order and finish his professional relationships in a professional manner.
Justice Quin’s decision was to remand Khan in custody. He pointed out that the offenses stretched from 2013 to 2016.
On that basis, Ms. Larner asked for a sentencing date as early as possible and Oct. 12 was set.