CALGARY – A 76-year-old Calgary therapist is facing charges in connection to the alleged sexual assault of a patient.
Police launched their investigation on March 15 after a woman contacted them to complain of inappropriate sexual conduct from her social worker therapist.
The complainant had begun attending couples counselling with her husband in an office located in the 220 block of 5 Ave. S.W. in December 2012.
She told investigators the incident happened in July 2013, while attending a session without her husband.
“It is alleged that the therapist began to ask inappropriate sexual questions and began to sexually assault the victim,” police said in a Friday news release.
The victim said she was assaulted at several more appointments until April 2014.
Police arrested Dr. Johannes Gerhardus Kilian, a registered social worker therapist, charging him with sexual assault.
Kilian is scheduled to appear in court on May 11.
During a Friday morning news conference, Staff Sgt. Steve Lorne commended the alleged victim for coming forward.
“It’s quite courageous for her to do this…I know she has a support system within her family, within her friends. It’s taken her a while to have that courage to come forward, but she has.”
Lorne added that it’s not uncommon for police to see cases where sexual assault victims stayed in contact with their assailant.
“In my experience, in investigations that are very similar with sexual victims, there’s a grooming aspect – and with that grooming aspect, there’s a relationship and it can be kind of a warped relationship,” Lorne explained. “Especially with this particular case, this gentleman is in a position of trust. So he’s formed that trust.”
“When we have allegations, specifically with someone in a position of trust…anyone that’s in that position of authority or trust – it is extremely serious.”
Lorne said police are concerned there is a potential for additional victims.
“We are reaching out to the public,” Lorne. “If there are any other victims we do encourage them to come forward.”
The Calgary Police Service encourages all victims of sexual assault, or any crime, to call Calgary police or contact Crime Stoppers.
Killan, who is not known to police, is from South Africa originally but has been practicing in Canada for 11 years.
A spokesperson for the Alberta College of Social Workers confirmed Kilian is a member. Currently he is still practicing as a counsellor, but his status is being looked at.
“If we deem there is a risk to the public, it is possible someone can lose their licence to practice and be suspended,” Labreque King said.
“Charges like this are very serious, very concerning, and most certainly we will be reviewing and will take any appropriate steps to make sure the public is protected.”
– With files from Nancy Hixt