This past January we brought you the story of a former eye doctor at the Mankato Clinic. The physician had been accused of sexually assaulting two of his patients by forcing them to disrobe for an eye exam. Throughout the trial, however, the doctor maintained that he was innocent and that he was merely being a through doctor. His lawyer also maintained that the women did not understand why the doctor was performing such an examination.
Just because someone is confused about a physical examination, however, does not mean he or she can provide sufficient evidence that someone performed a sexual assault. In order to be convicted of a crime, especially one as serious as sexual assault, it is of the utmost importance that the individual is convicted on sufficient, credible evidence. This is not only a constitutional right, but also the only way to truly prove that defendant committed the crime.
In this case, the jury determined there was not sufficient evidence of a sexual assault, acquitting the doctor of the two felony and two gross misdemeanor charges that followed the 2010 exam. It is unclear what will happen following this acquittal, but it is possible that the mere accusation of sexual assault will be enough to seriously damage his career and reputation.
Sexual assault is a very serious crime in Minnesota and comes with more than just a criminal punishment. Even those people who are acquitted often face an uphill battle to convince members of the public that they did not, in fact, commit the crime of which they had been accused and acquitted.
To learn more about this story, please visit our previous post on this Mankato eye doctor.
Source: Minnesota Public Radio News, “Jury clears eye doctor of sex assaults,” Jan. 11, 2013