Doctor accused of sexually assaulting patients pleads not guilty - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Doctor accused of sexually assaulting patients pleads not guilty

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EL CAJON (CNS) - A doctor accused of sexually assaulting female patients at an El Cajon clinic for low-income patients pleaded not guilty Monday to 24 felony charges, including sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual battery.

Dr. Jeffrey Joel Abrams, 67, was ordered held on $1.5 million bail.

The alleged misconduct took place at Volunteers in Medicine, a low-income clinic in the 1400 block of Madison Avenue between June 2010 and June 2014.

A patient alerted authorities after she said Abrams touched her private area and took photos during a visit in January. He was accused of using his cell phone to take thousands of photographs of his female patients while they were undressed in an exam room. The complaint alleges there are eight separate victims, and there could be more. One of his alleged victims is just 8 years old.

"He's been conducting unnecessary and inappropriate vaginal and other examinations on numerous female patients, often without wearing gloves," prosecutor Kerry Conway said.

Conway also said Abrams took naked photos of patients, though none of the pictures ended up in their medical files. They were only found on his personal cell phone.

Abrams was arrested Friday. His medical license has been suspended.

His attorney asked the judge to reduce his bail, arguing he has no prior criminal record, and significant health problems. But in the end, the judge sided with the prosecutor.

The defendant will be back in court Dec. 10 for a readiness conference and Jan. 5 for a preliminary hearing.

He faces 42 years and eight months in prison if convicted, according to Conway.

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