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California doctor faces multiple sexual assault charges

Being charged with sexual assault can have long-term repercussions, even if the allegations are later proved false. When the charges are against a professional, such as a medical doctor, an injured reputation can mean a very damaged career.

This is what is facing a 58-year-old California anesthesiologist who has been charged with sexual assault.

The doctor, who has already been accused of sexually assaulting two patients while they were under his care, is now being charged with sexually assaulting another woman who was one of his patients, according to a news report.

In late October, the doctor pleaded not guilty to the charges related to sexually assaulting two institutionalized women who were reportedly under anesthesia at the alleged time of assault.

The latest charges stem from a third patient who recently said that she was assaulted by this doctor in the spring when she was at a medical facility for a surgical procedure. She alleges that before being taken into the surgery, the doctor assaulted her.

Three additional women have been interviewed by police, and they claimed that they were also assaulted by the doctor. It has been decided that these three women were under too much medication for their claims to support any charges, according to the news report.

While the outcome of this case is still pending, it is important to remember that in California, as well as elsewhere in the country, being charged with sexual assault - or any crime - is not the same as being found guilty.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Doctor charged in sexual assault of third woman," Oct. 25, 2011

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