December 19, 2014

Elyria
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Judge finds doctor guilty in groping case

ELYRIA — An Elyria doctor is facing prison time after being found guilty by a county judge of four counts of gross sexual imposition and two counts of sexual imposition.

Somnath Roy, 47, continues to deny the allegations leveled against him by patients, a former employee and a woman who applied for a job at his Elyria medical office, defense attorney Kenneth Lieux said Wednesday after Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski handed down the verdict.

“He has every intention of appealing this decision in every respect,” Lieux said.

During the closing arguments of the trial, which Betleski heard without a jury, Assistant County Prosecutor Laura Dezort said Roy was “opportunistic and manipulative” in his choice of victims and “cloaked his behavior in a white doctor’s coat.”

Betleski cleared Roy of additional charges of abduction and gross sexual imposition. Additional sexual imposition charges were dismissed before the trial, according to court records.

Roy had been accused of groping the women during examinations, but Lieux argued that prosecutors weren’t able to show that Roy experienced sexual gratification or that there was a threat of force against the women. Without the force allegations, Lieux said Roy wouldn’t have faced felony gross sexual imposition charges.

At the beginning of the case, Lieux said Roy was facing accusations he’d molested seven victims, but he was ultimately convicted of charges related to only four victims. Betleski found Roy not guilty of charges involving two of the victims whose stories were similar to those he found the doctor guilty of molesting.

Two of the victims Roy was found guilty of fondling, a female employee and a job candidate, filed lawsuits against Roy in 2007.

Those lawsuits and two other civil cases filed against Roy by insurance companies that believe they shouldn’t be liable for covering damages if he loses the other lawsuits have been on hold, pending the outcome of the civil trial.

The convictions also mean that Roy’s medical license is in jeopardy, Lieux said.

Prosecutors could not be reached for comment after the verdict.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.