Toronto doctor arrested in sex assault allegations

Police say the accused, who owns a practice called the Royal Wellness Centre, ran ‘a perverse pseudo-religious cult’

Toronto police have arrested a Toronto doctor in connection with allegations of sexual assault by multiple women.

Travis Vader, 35, was arrested and faces a total of 31 charges, including sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and breaking and entering, according to a police statement.

Police said Vader was known to a victim from early October 2016 through to early this month. According to the police statement, authorities began investigating after one of the women reported an attack on 14 February.

It said the accused had access to a number of female patients.

“They had come to him for various reasons and his care had involved them,” said Toronto police Sgt David Hopkinson.

He said this operation was rare, and that police did not suspect there was any other victim being investigated.

Police say the Royal Wellness Centre, the practice owned by Vader, operated as a “quasi-religious cult”.

A legal defence for Vader’s clinic claimed the prosecution was based on “a simple misunderstanding of the nature of its therapy”.

Det Chantal Bourgoin is leading the investigation. She said the doctor is currently free on bail, and is due to appear in court on 27 February.

Police are investigating possible co-conspirators, Bourgoin said.

Vader was reported missing after his vehicle was found abandoned on 15 February. Bourgoin said that Vader was located and arrested on the west side of Toronto near Hwy 427 and Young Street.

His lawyers were not immediately available for comment.

Vader, who is originally from the west Texas town of Odessa, also worked as a border patrol agent and deputy sheriff in Missouri and Oklahoma, according to KRLD.

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It said court records showed Vader pleaded guilty to drug and weapons charges and a felony count of firearms misconduct. His lawyer told a judge that Vader was on probation and working as a tactical support officer, KRLD reported.

A representative for the Royal Wellness Centre said the facility had no comment.

Police said on Friday that they are asking for witnesses to call investigators at 416-808-1200.

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