In September 2019, Ms. Stephanie Zubriski was referred to the Discipline Committee for allegations of professional misconduct. The College alleged that Ms. Zubriski provided occupational therapy services to a Client from in or about August 2016 to in or about February 2017. The College also alleged that on one or more occasions from in or about October 2016 to in or about June 2018, Ms. Zubriski engaged in sexual intercourse and/or other physical sexual relations with this Client; and/or sent emails of a sexual nature to the Client. The College further alleged that this conduct constituted professional misconduct. Ms. Zubriski denied the allegations of professional misconduct.

Following a fully contested hearing that occurred on July 20, 21, 23-24, 27-28, 31, August 4, and September 24, 2020, a panel of the Discipline Committee of the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario found that Ms. Zubriski committed acts of professional misconduct by:

  • engaging in the sexual abuse of a client pursuant to clause 51(1)(b.1) of the Health Professions Procedural Code, being Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991;
  • engaging in disgraceful, dishonorable and unprofessional conduct; and,
  • engaging in conduct that would reasonably be regarded by members as conduct unbecoming an occupational therapist.
The Discipline Committee panel heard evidence from six witnesses. Based on the evidence, the panel found that Ms. Zubriski:

  • provided occupational therapy services to the Client from in or about August 2016 to in or about early February 2017;
  • on one or more occasions from mid-November 2016 to in or about June 2018, including at times when he was her Client, engaged in sexual intercourse and other physical sexual relations with this individual;
  • sent emails of a sexual nature to her Client; and,
  • lived with this individual from February 2017 to June 2018.
The Discipline Committee panel did not find, in the absence of expert evidence establishing the standard of practice, that Ms. Zubriski contravened by act or omission a standard of practice of the profession or failed to maintain the standard or practice of the profession, as was alleged by the College.

A continuation of the hearing took place on February 9, 2021. The Discipline Committee panel made an order:

  1. Directing the Registrar to revoke Ms. Zubriski’s certificate of registration.
  2. Requiring Ms. Zubriski to appear before the panel to be reprimanded.
  3. Requiring Ms. Zubriski to reimburse the College for funding provided for the Client under the program required under section 85.7 of the Health Professions Procedural Code.
  4. Requiring Ms. Zubriski to post security in the amount of $17,370 to guarantee the payment of any amounts she may be required to reimburse under the order under paragraph 3.
  5. Requiring Ms. Zubriski to pay costs in the amount of $196,000 to the College.
This matter has been appealed by Ms. Zubriski to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court). Pursuant to s.71.1 of the Health Professions Procedural Code, the order made by a panel of the Discipline Committee to revoke Ms. Zubriski’s certificate of registration and to issue a reprimand is not stayed pending appeal.