Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Doctor charged in sex assault has military ties

Amitabh Chauhan, left, and Suganthan Kayilasanathan are charged with gang sexual assault and administering a noxious substance.

Doctor charged in sex assault has military ties

One of the doctors charged last week with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in a downtown Toronto hotel is a long-serving member of the Canadian military, CBC News has learned.

Dr. Amitabh Chauhan, 32, of Ancaster, Ont., has been closely associated with the Canadian Forces since 1997, when he became a cadet. The following year he enrolled in the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ont., as an officer cadet.

Chauhan, received his undergraduate degree from RMC in 2002 with an honours BA in politics and economics.

"Following his education with RMC, he began his training to become a pilot in January 2004. He ceased training in July 2005 and undertook a variety of duties," the Department of National Defence said in a written statement to CBC News.

He did his pilot training at CFB Moose Jaw.

On Monday, Toronto police said that when he was arrested Chauhan had a Saskatchewan driver's licence.

Chauhan left the military in 2007 but continued his association as a member of the naval reserve, which he joined three years ago.

"Mr. Chauhan is a naval reservist who works part-time at the naval reserve division HMCS Star in Hamilton [Ont.] and holds the rank of acting sub-lieutenant," according to the military.

He is currently a post-graduate student in the plastic surgery department at McMaster University in Hamilton.

The Department of National Defence said it is aware Chauhan is facing criminal charges.

"We are taking Mr. Chauhan's situation very seriously and are collaborating fully with the [Toronto] police investigation," DND said in its statement.

On Friday, police said they had arrested Chauhan and Suganthan Kayilasanathan, 32, of Markham, Ont., and charged them with gang sexual assault and administering a noxious substance.

The two doctors are accused of drugging and then sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman in a downtown Toronto hotel on Feb. 13.

CBC News has also learned that Kayilasanathan has only been working in Toronto since December.

He started a general practice at a medical clinic in Toronto's east end in December 2010.

According to a family friend, he got the job on the recommendation from his father, who is a lawyer. The friend said Kayilasanathan's father is devastated by the allegations against his son.

Kayilasanathan holds a medical licence in New Brunswick as well.

Both men are scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on Wednesday morning.

Police said the accused have known each other for several years and "know both men have travelled abroad together, including Panama."

A second woman has since come forward with a further allegation against Chauhan, according to police.

No details have been released and police said they are still investigating the woman's claims.

Police said they believe there may be more victims and have issued appeals on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter asking for anyone with information on the two accused to come forward.