EL CAJON (CNS) - A doctor who sexually assaulted female patients and took explicit photographs of them with his cell phone at an El Cajon clinic for low-income patients was sentenced Friday to one year of house arrest and five years probation.
Dr. Jeffrey Joel Abrams, 68, must also register for life as a sex offender. He was also barred from ever practicing medicine again.
Abrams pleaded guilty in July to eight counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person, three counts of sexual battery and one count of possession of child pornography, involving pictures of an 8-year-old girl.
Judge Laura Halgren suspended a 25-year, eight-month prison sentence, so long as Abrams successfully completes probation. Abrams suffers from kidney cancer and ailments, contributing to prosecutors' decision to agree to the plea deal.
The sexual misconduct took place at Volunteers in Medicine, a low-income clinic in the 1400 block of Madison Avenue, Conway said. The charges stem from incidents involving 12 victims, including one minor, between June 2010 and June 2014, he said.
Deputy District Attorney Kerry Conway said Abrams conducted "unnecessary and inappropriate" vaginal exams on patients. He told the women he wanted to take photographs for teaching purposes, but no photos were found in the patients' medical files, the prosecutor said.
A patient alerted authorities after she said Abrams touched her private area and took photos of her during a visit in January 2014. He was charged with using his cell phone to take thousands of photos of his female patients while they were undressed in an exam room.