Former doctor, Chelsea resident to go to Laval recovery home
Disgraced former Ottawa doctor and Chelsea resident Vincent Nadon blamed his parents, who he painted as neglectful, for his criminal actions during a Jan. 25 Parole Board of Canada hearing.
Following the two-and-a-half hour hearing, the board granted 59-year-old Nadon, who is serving a seven year sentence for sexual assault and voyerism, day parole, which will allow him to live in the Carpe Diem halfway house in Laval.
“He was absent from my emotional life,” he said, translated from French, of his father, which was in response to a question from the board about his life before committing his crimes.
Nadon said his workaholic, perfectionist father was a teacher, then worked in the federal government for decades and expected his first son, Nadon – the eldest of three siblings – to have a similar work ethic, which Nadon said put a strain on him. His mother met his father in university and gave birth to Nadon when she was 20.
“She was young and inexperienced [as a mother],” Nadon said, translated from French.
“She betrayed me, abandoned me and rejected me as a child in my attempts to connect with her,” he added.
In December 2018 Nadon pleaded guilty 12 counts of sexual assault and two counts of voyeurism, the latter related to him secretly recording female patients, who were naked, in his University of Ottawa Health Services clinic.
The parole hearing was held virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There were three parole board members, three observers and two interpreters present during the hearing along with Nadon, his legal representative and an assistant. The Low Down wasn’t given access to the video feed of the hearing because the newspaper required that the hearing be live-translated into English by the interpreters.
The parole’s conditions include following a treatment plan for “sexual deviants” and never contacting the victims or victims’ families.
‘My work as a doctor gave me… control’
Along with levelling blame at his parents, Nadon spoke to the parole board about his university experience and the events that led up to him being arrested in 2018.
“I’ve always been very alone,” Nadon said about starting university at the age of 16 and not being able to make a lot of friends because of the age difference between him and his classmates.
Nadon said his father expected nothing less than perfection from him, which warped his expectations of himself and others, and caused him to feel unsatisfied, irritable, upset and the need to keep loved ones at a distance out of fear of rejection.
“I always needed control because I feared unforeseen events,” Nadon said. “My work as a doctor gave me that possibility of control.”
He graduated from medical school and took the Hippocratic Oath in his early 20s before he was, as he said, “emotionally mature.” He was suspended from practicing medicine in 2018 after being charged and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario stripped him of his medical license in 2020 after his conviction.
“I was using sexuality in a way to get emotional intimacy,” Nadon said. “… I didn’t see how I could harm anyone because I was doing everything in secrecy. I was hiding behind my role as a doctor.”
He said that he justified his actions to himself because it was a secret. He described himself as searching for a profound intimacy when watching them. However he said he found that he wasn’t getting what he was looking for by watching them and got more of a rush from the act of recording the women undressing while in treatment rooms. Though he added that at that time he hoped to “use” the videos in the future.
“I’m terribly sorry and I’m terribly ashamed,” Nadon said.
‘I wasn’t arrested, I was rescued…’
According to court records, in January 2018 a woman in her 20s went to Nadon for a Pap test and found an iPhone hidden in a partially open cupboard in the treatment room that recorded Nadon setting the phone in place and her undressing for the test, the exam and subsequently getting dressed.
The patient confronted him in the lobby. During the confrontation, Nadon claimed he was recording for training purposes, but deleted the video in front of her. She reported Nadon’s actions to the clinic’s head nurse and later the police.
Less than 24 hours later, Ottawa Police arrested Nadon minutes after he dumped evidence, a damaged hard drive, into a dumpster at the IGA Famille Charles in Farm Point late at night.
“I wasn’t arrested, I was rescued in a way,” he said.
The news of Nadon’s arrest came as a shock to the Chelsea community, of which he was thought to be an upstanding member. His arrest came during the height of the #MeToo movement, which shone a spotlight on sexual harassment and abuse women face. Despite that social climate and the nature of his crimes, news of the allegations prompted some locals to take to social media in his defence.
When asked about contact with his immediate family, he stated that his wife divorced him in 2019 and that he is in regular contact with his 33-year-old daughter since summer 2020, but that his two other daughters aren’t responding to his correspondences — the most recent of which was a poem he sent them in November.
When asked about how he felt about his daughters not contacting him, he said he would always love them and be there for them, but would respect their wishes if they don’t want to interact with him.
When asked about his plans to support himself if granted parole, he said he is in contact with a cousin in the Montreal area who offered to support him while in the recovery house and that he would like to use his medical knowledge to help people.
“Either vaccinate people or find another way to help without being in a situation of control over vulnerable people,” Nadon explained.
After deliberating for about 20 minutes, the parole board granted Nadon day parole. The decision statement read by one of the members of the parole board cited his good behaviour in prison, completing treatments, volunteering and having a plan to reintegrate into society.
“The parole board believes that under conditional release, your risk [of re-offending] is manageable,” a board member stated, translated from French.