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Sault doctor's registration revoked for sexual touching

The sexual abuse occurred during office visits, a committee found earlier this year
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The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has revoked the registration of local family physician Dr. Peter Schwarz for sexual abuse of a patient.

Schwarz had been suspended from practicing medicine since March after the discipline committee found that Schwarz had committed an act of professional misconduct. A penalty hearing took place in September and a decision was released on Monday.

The committee's penalty decision requires the CPSO's registrar to revoke Schwarz's certificate of registration, effective immediately, and requires Schwarz to pay $82,960 in costs to the CPSO within 90 days. Schwarz must also reimburse the college $16,060 for therapy or counselling provided to the patient. 

He must appear before the committee again within 60 days to be officially reprimanded.

In March, the college found that an adult female patient was sexually abused by Schwarz during two appointments in the fall of 2015.

“On the basis of its assessment of the witnesses’ credibility and the consideration of the evidence as a whole, the Committee accepted Patient A’s version of the events and concluded that Dr. Schwarz engaged in sexual abuse of Patient A by touching of a sexual nature, that is, by touching of her breasts and buttocks during office visits . . .  in a manner that was not clinically indicated or appropriate,” reads a summary of the discipline committee's findings.

The College also found Schwarz inappropriately touched and made sexual comments to three different nurses on three different occasions in a hospital environment in 2010 and 2012.

Previously, in May 2018, Schwarz was acquitted of two sex-related charges stemming from the two fall 2015 appointments with the adult female patient by Ontario Court Justice Romuald Kwolek.   

Sault Area Hospital (SAH) and the North Shore Health Network both suspended Schwarz’s privileges in September 2016, shortly after he was charged with the offences.