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Port Alberni nurse banned five years after sex assault convictions

"The inquiry committee found that the most severe outcome was necessary to ensure that public safety was not compromised."
The RCMP and B.C.'s College of Nurses and Midwives ran parallel investigations. Photo: Brendan Kergin

A Port Alberni licensed practical nurse has been banned from practising for five years after being convicted of sexual assault almost four years ago.

On Tuesday, a B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives inquiry panel approved an agreement between the college and Colin R. Hall to address conduct issues underlying the sexual offences and workplace harassment.

“The inquiry committee found that the most severe outcome was necessary to ensure that public safety was not compromised and to maintain confidence in the regulator’s mandate of protecting the public,” the panel’s public notice said.

Hall was sentenced to four years after being convicted in 2020.

He had been charged with seven counts of sexual interference, seven counts of sexual assault, and three counts of invitation to sexual touching. At the time he was charged, police said they had identified several potential victims, including some who were minors at the time of the alleged offences, noting the allegations spanned several years.

The college said Hall voluntarily agreed to terms equivalent to a limit and/or condition on his practice, including the cancellation ‚Äčof his registration and a prohibition on reapplying for five years.

“In the event that the registrant reapplies for practising registration in the future, the registrant will be required to satisfy the registration committee that they meet the requirements of fitness, competence, and good character,” the panel said.

In August 2019, Hall had agreed with the college to convert his licence to non-practising, pending the outcome of the investigation that resulted in the criminal charges.

In a statement to Glacier Media, the college said the inquiry committee directed an investigation into Hall’s conduct following a Port Alberni RCMP August 2019 media release about the charges.

The statement said the college remained in contact with RCMP during the criminal proceedings while engaging in a parallel investigation, a probe that concluded in August 2023.

“The timing of the notice was not tied to Mr. Hall’s criminal prosecution and subsequent sentencing,” the statement said. “It is not unusual in cases where there are parallel criminal and regulatory processes, for the regulatory process to conclude after the criminal matters.”

The college is one of 18 regulatory bodies empowered under the Health Professions Act to regulate health professions in B.C. It regulates the practice of four professions: nursing, practical nursing, psychiatric nursing and midwifery.

— With a file from the Times Colonist