The second sexual abuse trial of New Hartford psychiatrist Dr. Surendra Johri has been adjourned until February 4, 2019. The trial was originally set to begin in Utica City Court on Monday, December 10.
The Oneida County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to change the date of the alleged incident of sexual abuse, saying that investigators made a mistake. According to court documents, the alleged incident took place on November 25, 2017. However, prosecutors say that the alleged assault occurred on November 11, 2017.
Defense attorney Christopher Pelli filed a motion to dismiss the charges against one of the patients because of this apparent date mix-up. The prosecution has until December 17 to respond to the motion to dismiss charges.
Dr. Johri was acquitted in June in another sexual abuse case. In this current case, he is accused of touching a female patient inappropriately in 2017 while he was working as a psychiatrist at Community Health Behavioral Services in Utica.
There is also another separate case in which Johri faces the same charges of sexual abuse and forcible touching against another patient.
Attorney contributor Laurence Banville helps survivors of sexual assault by doctors seek justice and financial compensation in civil lawsuits. We have asked him for some insight into the legal options available to those who have been sexually assaulted by doctors and other medical professionals:
Doctors are some of the most trusted and highly respected members of our communities. But unfortunately, a handful of doctors and other medical professionals are sexual predators who abuse this trust in order to sexually assault their patients. When this happens, it’s crucial for the patients to be aware of their legal options.
The police and criminal justice system handles the arrest and prosecution of doctors accused of sexual assault, but rarely directly addresses the needs of victims. However, the civil court system allows these victims to seek financial compensation for the damages they’ve suffered. Additionally, a lawsuit can help demand accountability from third parties (such as the medical facility that employed the doctor) who failed to prevent the sexual assault.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a medical professional, we understand the difficult position your family is in. You can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual assault victims attorney.