Jury Acquits Doctor Accused Of Sexually Abusing Patient
In most cases, the extent to which you believe someone depends on the context and on your pre-existing relationship, if any, with the speaker. You trust your closest friends enough that you believe everything they tell you, even when it is upsetting or surprising; if something does not add up, you ask for more details. Meanwhile, you take everything a sales representative tells you with a grain of salt. By talking to you, sales representatives are just doing their job, and their job is to persuade you to part with your money. In a criminal trial, jurors must be unbiased, meaning that they should not know the accuser or the defendant and they should not strongly sympathize with groups with which the accuser or defendant is affiliated. Witnesses must also be truthful, under penalty of perjury, although each side may try to show, through cross examination or external evidence, that a witness is not credible. In most cases, verbal testimony from a witness, by itself, is not enough to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; it is better if there is also other evidence that corroborates the accuser’s statements. A jury in Florida recently returned a not guilty verdict at a trial that came down to the accuser’s word against the defendant’s. If you are facing criminal charges because someone is making unfounded claims of sexual misconduct against you, contact a Tampa criminal defense lawyer.
The Prosecution’s Case Cannot Stand Based on Accusations Alone
The first time a patient accused Dr. Manuel Abreu, a primary care physician who has practiced in Pinellas and Palm Beach Countries, of making inappropriate sexual advances, was in 2014. Since then, he has received complaints of a similar nature from at least ten women; most of them were patients whom Abreu treated, but one of them was a medical assistant, and another was a representative from a pharmaceutical company. In 2016, he was charged with sexual battery when a patient complained to police that Abreu had touched her inappropriately during a medical examination. That case never went to trial, because the judge determined that five other accusers, whom the prosecution had planned to summon as witnesses, were not credible. Therefore, the state dropped the charges against him.
Abreu faced charges again in 2023 when another patient made similar accusations; this patient claimed that the inappropriate touching happened during a doctor’s office visit in June 2020. Abreu pleaded not guilty. The only witnesses who testified at the trial were Abreu, the accuser, and a detective. Abreu claimed that the accuser had fabricated the allegations after Abreu, who is married, rejected the accuser’s efforts to start a romantic relationship with him. After less than an hour of deliberations, the jury voted to acquit Abreu of the charges.
Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of non-consensual touching or sexual harassment. Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.