A Chilliwack physiotherapist facing several sexual assault charges has changed his mind on what kind of trial he wants to have. Sanjay Amrutkar has filed written notice changing from a jury trial to one in front of a judge alone.
Amrutkar will still have to appear in court in early January to make it official, but two jury selection dates have been scrubbed from the court schedule.
B.C. Supreme Court justice Brenda Brown will hear the case. The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 23 and is expected to take three weeks. Crown witnesses will include eight woman who have accused Amrutkar of touching them inappropriately during a series of physiotherapy appointments in 2019. Crown will also call on expert witness Karen van der Hoop, a retired physiotherapist with six years experience as an inspector for the College of Physical Therapy of B.C., and seven as examiner for the Canadian Alliance of Physical Therapy Regulators.
Details of the complaints, along with the names of the complainants, are covered by a publication ban. What is known is that four months before police issued a statement about two initial charges, Amrutkar entered a voluntary consent agreement for an inquiry by the College of Physical Therapists of British Columbia (CPTBC) a due to a complaint made by a female patient alleging that he “engaged in touching which appeared to be non-therapeutic in nature.”
Amrutkar was arrested and made his first court appearance in February 2020. Six more women came forward after a plea from police.
Amrutkar’s registration with the CPTBC is up to date, not due to expire until May 31, 2023, but one condition on his file is that he treat female patients with a chaperone.