A nurse convicted of assaulting three seniors at a Victoria care facility in 2015 and who later fled Canada committed professional misconduct and will be subject to penalties and costs, a discipline committee of the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives has ruled.
James Edward Christie was hired by Selkirk Place Long Term Care Facility in 2013 and was charged with assaulting four residents of the care home on June 5, 2015.
He was found guilty of three of the charges stemming from accusations that he assaulted complex care patients, including some with advanced dementia, in a trial in the Provincial Court of British Columbia.
Warning: The following paragraphs contain graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers.
Court found that Christie struck one patient with advanced dementia in the groin, placed a blanket over the face of another patient with advanced dementia and pressed down on their upper body with his body, and flicked one patient’s genitals around 15 times causing him to “scream and moan,” according to the discipline committee’s report.
Christie was sentenced to six months in jail, but appealed the conviction and was released on bail in November 2016. After that, he fled the country and remains wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant. The appeal has since been dismissed.
The college decided to proceed with the disciplinary panel despite Christie’s disappearance because “considerable time and resources” were dedicated to the hearing and not going ahead with it would “essentially reward a respondent’s lack of engagement.”
Noting his actions were “especially egregious due to his position of trust and power over vulnerable elderly dementia residents,” the panel found that Christie committed professional misconduct in the three assaults he was convicted for, and determined he also committed unprofessional conduct by failing to cooperate with the college’s investigation.
The disciplinary panel will now deliberate on the “appropriate penalty and costs” and will make their decisions public once it is determined.
The panel says Christie has 30 days after the date the order was delivered, Aug. 11, 2022, to appeal the decision to the B.C. Supreme Court.