Doctor accused of rape: ‘Charges are result of a witch hunt’

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AKRON, Ohio -- With his reputation in tatters, and his freedom on the line, Dr. James Bressi took the stand in his own defense in his rape case trial.

Bressi tried to convince a Summit County jury that nearly a dozen female patients were mistaken when they testified that he molested them during treatment at the Summit Pain Clinic in Stow.

Bressi claims that what his chronic pain patients actually felt were two bottles of supplements he says he's been carrying around for the past ten years.

"They're in the pocket and obviously they're big and they tend to bulge out in the pants and they do rub against the patients frequently," said Bressi.

The doctor maintains that what his accusers call sexual contact is a method of treatment known as high velocity therapy. During cross-examination, Summit County prosecutors challenged Bressi's claim, pointing to the testimony of patients who say his treatment included putting his hands under their clothing and touching them in sensitive areas of the body unrelated to their chronic pain.

Bressi responded, "you can't get effective stretching and breaking of the muscle spasms sometimes by just going through the clothing, you have to be on skin a lot of times."

Bressi's medical license has been suspended by the Ohio State Medical Board and he is the target of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of his patients.

He told the jury that a sweeping investigation and the 27-count indictment against him are the result of a witch hunt orchestrated by another doctor.

Prosecutors asked Bressi why more than a hundred women have accused him of wrongdoing.

Bressi responded, "obviously problems with memories comes into play here, distortion, the recall and there's drugs involved obviously and there's a definite possibility of coaching their testimony as well as money in the majority of them and with the civil suits."

The jury is scheduled to hear closing arguments in the trial on Monday.

For extended coverage on this story, click here.

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