As he’s doubtless finished lots of of occasions in his 20-plus years as a pediatrician, Dr. Jarret Patton on Wednesday slipped off his go well with jacket and draped a stethoscope round his neck.
Leaning in to take heed to his younger affected person’s coronary heart, the 6-foot, 5-inch, 250-pound physician pressed his lap towards the kid’s mom’s legs, an unavoidable hazard, he stated, when a mom is holding her child in her lap throughout an exam.
It was an uncommon scene in what has been an uncommon trial this week in Lehigh County Court. Patton, a former Lehigh Valley Health Network worker, is standing trial on indecent assault costs, accused of touching sufferers’ moms together with his personal elements whereas analyzing their youngsters.
Patton, 43, of Exeter Township, Berks County, denies the fees.
As a part of the protection presentation, lawyer John Waldron introduced a lab desk into the courtroom and questioned Patton about his examination technique whereas a authorized assistant held a doll perched on the sting of the desk, appearing the a part of a affected person’s mom.
Bending and reaching over the lady and doll, Patton demonstrated how, he stated, he might have inadvertently rubbed towards the seven women who’ve accused him.
“Depending on how much the kid is moving, any part of my body below the neck area, to my knees, could potentially touch,” he defined.
Patton repeatedly denied that he was sexually aroused through the incidents, because the women claimed. To win a responsible verdict, prosecutors should show that Patton touched the women for sexual gratification.
Patton, a married father of three, was arrested in May 2016 after the mom of a 9-month-old boy advised police that Patton repeatedly rubbed his genitals towards her leg, by means of his pants, as he was analyzing her youngster.
After the allegations turned public, six extra women accused Patton, although no further fees have been filed. The allegations date again to 2009.
On the stand for about an hour Wednesday, Patton was calm and principally upbeat, besides when he spoke about dropping his job and having his medical license suspended final yr because of the allegations.
“I’ve already lost a lot. The damage has been done,” he stated.
Earlier within the day, the jurors heard from a number of women who claimed Patton touched them inappropriately.
One lady turned emotional as she described Patton allegedly crouching down in order that his genitals touched her leg whereas he examined her son. The lady stated Patton rubbed towards her for a minimum of 5 minutes, however she was too shocked to react.
“You’re not thinking that something like that could happen,” she stated. “You’re going to the doctor. Something like that shouldn’t be happening there.”
Most of the women who accused Patton stated they introduced their youngsters to the clinic as a result of it was the one place that accepted their insurance coverage.
Sexual deviance skilled Dr. Veronique Valliere testified for the prosecution. She described frotteurism, which is a sexual deviance that happens when a perpetrator rubs his physique sexually towards one other individual with out their consent.
Prosecutors say Patton’s alleged conduct matches that definition.
Testifying for the protection have been a number of character witnesses, together with former Lehigh County Executive Jane Ervin, who appointed Patton to the board of the nonprofit Community Services for Children. Several moms of Patton’s sufferers additionally testified, saying he had by no means touched them inappropriately.
Jurors will hear closing arguments Thursday morning, and will start deliberations earlier than midday.
If convicted, Patton might be sentenced to greater than a yr behind bars.