Vernon physiotherapist facing criminal charges put on public notice

The College of Physical Therapists of B.C. says it is aware of a physiotherapist from Vernon who is facing criminal charges.

Last week, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP announced that Stephen Witvoet, 47, had been arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between 2015 and 2016.

Police added that Witvoet was released on conditions.

This week, the college announced that it is aware Witvoet was charged under the criminal code while treating female patients.

“The college has a mandate to protect the public and takes these allegations seriously,” it said on its website. “The college has taken immediate steps to initiate its own investigation into these allegations in accordance with the process set out in the Health Professions Act.”

The college added that “a bail condition currently prohibits Mr. Witvoet from treating female patients. If the bail condition is altered or lifted, the Act allows the college to take immediate action to ensure public safety until the investigation is complete or pending a disciplinary hearing.”

The college also said it would not be appropriate to comment further while investigations are underway, but that it will co-operate fully with authorities.

In announcing the arrest, Vernon RCMP said: “we believe given the length of time he has been practicing, there may be potential victims who have not already reported to the police. We are asking those people to come forward now.”

If you have any information, you are asked to contact the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP at 250-545-7171.

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