Doc faces jail over charges of fondling patients

7:15 PM, Jun 2, 2008   |    comments
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New Port Richey, FL - The target of a year long series of 10 News investigations is now facing criminal charges. Several women have complained that Pasco physician Dr. Gunwant Dhaliwal has inappropriately touched their breasts. The women have filed law suits, police reports and they've talked to investigators.

Most tell stories like college student Marissa Satinoff. Satinoff says she went to one of Dhaliwal's walk-in clinics after a car accident. She says the doctor pushed her back on the examining table, lifted her shirt, took her breasts out of her bra and then fondled each one.

Until now, nothing has happened to Dhaliwal. However, the Pinellas Pasco State Attorney has filed first degree battery charges against the physician. The charges are misdemeanors. Prosecutors can't file lewd and lascivious or sexual battery charges because, under Florida law, the breasts are not considered a sexual organ.

Some of the alleged victims say Dhaliwal should lose his license. The Florida Board of Medicine, which has been waiting to see if criminal charges are filed, could sanction the physician or yank his license.

If he is convicted, Dhaliwal could face a year in jail on each of the charges.

Mike Deeson,Tampa Bay's 10 News

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