DALLAS (AP) — A Texas doctor accused of sexually assaulting several patients was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday after he was convicted of assaulting a woman who sought care for a physical disability.
Donald Ozumba, 45, was found guilty earlier Friday of aggravated sexual assault of an elderly person in a trial that Collin County prosecutors said was one of the most egregious they’ve ever encountered involving a physician victimizing patients.
The verdict came after almost 10 hours of deliberation. The Collin County jury deliberated about 2½ hours before arriving at the sentence. Ozumba’s attorney has asked the jury to sentence the doctor to probation, while prosecutors asked for a 45-year prison sentence. The jury could have sentenced Ozumba to up to life in prison.
Six other sexual assault cases are still pending against the Nigerian-born doctor, who investigators say showed a pattern of abuse.
Investigators said a pattern emerged beginning in at least 2015, where Ozumba would provide a steroid injection to a woman’s pelvis area and then use his hands to massage the affected area before assaulting her, according to Texas Medical Board records.
The board, which accuses Ozumba of sexually assaulting nine patients and of inappropriate sexual conduct with four others, alleges he also sent sexually suggestive texts to some patients and “grinded” against one woman.
His defense attorneys suggested Ozumba’s hand deformity may have been to blame for accidental contact.
The medical board suspended Ozumba’s medical license within a week of his 2017 arrest, a prompt move in a profession that often takes a more forgiving approach. An Associated Press investigation earlier this year found that when doctors facing such accusations are disciplined, punishment often consists of a short suspension and mandatory therapy.
The felony conviction disqualifies him for a license to practice medicine in the future. He also must register as a sexual offender.
In the trial prosecuted this week northeast of Dallas, the victim testified she was being treated at a McKinney clinic for a physical disability in 2016 when Ozumba used his finger to illegally touch and repeatedly penetrate her. The women, who is in her 70s, said she froze, abruptly left the office and later contacted police after speaking with her husband.
Three other women testified that they, too, were sexually assaulted by Ozumba under the guise of medical treatment, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Ozumba’s attorney, Toby Shook, said there wasn’t enough evidence for a conviction. He said the victim was misremembering what transpired.
“I don’t believe she has an accurate memory about what happened,” Shook told jurors during the trial, according to the newspaper.
Similar accusations have been levied against other physicians recently, including imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar. He was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison in Michigan after hundreds of women and girls accused him of molesting them under the guise of medical treatment. Nassar is now facing charges in Texas .
A former doctor accused of sexually abusing patients was sentenced this week in Missouri but still faces other charges. And several students have sued Ohio State University over alleged sexual misconduct by a now-dead team doctor.
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