AKRON, Ohio — A local doctor has been found not guilty of 26 charges in a sex assault trial.
The jury did find Dr. James Bressi guilty of one misdemeanor count of sexual imposition. It’s a third-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail. He will be sentenced on Oct. 7.
Bressi will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years.
More than a hundred female patients filed complaints indicating that Dr. Bressi molested them during treatment at the Summit Pain Clinic in Stow, and eleven of those women testified during Bressi’s trial.
After the verdicts were read, Bressi told FOX 8, “I would say I’m sorry that they felt that way. I’ll never call them liars. I’m never going to say that they’re crazy. I care for them. I’m a professional; I’m not going to go whining about the justice system.”
The doctor testified during the trial that his patients had misinterpreted his treatment of their pain as sexual conduct, and he believes the jury agreed with his assessment. Bressi told FOX 8, “We’re getting close to the body all the time. We’re moving like this all the time, and you’re going to have touching.”
Prosecutors scoffed at Bressi’s claim that when patients felt him forcing himself upon them, they were actually feeling two bottles of supplements he carried in his pants pocket for years.
After the verdict was handed down, Bressi told us, “A lot of patients knew about those bottles. They knew it and they knew that when they grabbed on, that they were grabbing bottles. Some of the patients didn’t. I’ve had big men patients grab on to hold on because the manipulation was hurting.”
After the dramatic courtroom setback, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh issued a statement that reads: “Based on the evidence presented in court, we are shocked at the verdict in this case. Our concern right now is for the numerous victims who came forward, and we commend them for their courage in doing so. We will continue to aggressively prosecute individuals who commit sexual assaults in this community, regardless of their profession or status in society.”
Authorities said Bressi’s license has been suspended by the State Medical Board. He now says he has no intention of trying to have his license reinstated.
Bressi is also the target of a class action lawsuit, filed on behalf on some of the alleged victims.
Follow the latest on this story HERE.