An oral surgeon charged with assault in connection with an incident in which a prison guard removed a tooth from an inmate at a central Newfoundland jail has changed his plea to guilty.
Louis Bourget appeared by telephone and pleaded guilty in Gander Supreme Court on Monday morning, the same day he was scheduled to go to trial on the charge.
In October 2020, two Bishop’s Falls Correctional Facility prison guards, Ron McDonald and Roy Goodyear, accompanied an inmate to Bourget’s office at the Gander Family Dental Clinic.
While sedated, Bourget allowed McDonald to extract a patient’s tooth while Goodyear recorded it on his phone. The video was later posted on social media.
Bourget and both guards were charged, but the charge against Goodyear was eventually dropped.
Bourget and McDonald were supposed to go on trial in provincial court in November 2021, but were later re-elected for a judge-only trial in the Supreme Court, which was scheduled to begin Monday before Justice Melanie Del Rizzo. On Monday, McDonald also changed her plea to guilty.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 2 in Gander.
The Dental Board of Newfoundland and Labrador imposed a fine and suspension on Bourget. In Nova Scotia, where Bourget spends most of his time as a surgeon, the dental board also suspended Bourget. Both suspensions have since expired.
In its decision, the Newfoundland and Labrador board stated that the patient would not have been able to give informed consent for the removal since he was sedated.
The patient, Blair Harris, filed a lawsuit against Bourget and McDonald and others related to the incident.
As of this month, Bourget continues to practice in Gander.
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