August 31, 2014

Elyria
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Doctor convicted of gross sexual imposition sentenced to 3 years’ probation

ELYRIA — Dr. Somnath Roy was sentenced Monday to three years of probation for groping two of his patients, an employee and a job candidate.

Dr. Somnath Roy goes over sentencing paperwork with his attorney, Ken Lieux, on Monday in Judge Mark Betleski’s court room. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

Roy, 48, had been facing prison time following his conviction on four felony counts of gross sexual imposition and two misdemeanor counts of sexual imposition last year.

But Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Mark Betleski said Roy, who sat silently except to answer direct questions in a barely audible voice, is less likely to commit another crime if he is spared prison. He said several studies have shown that to be the case for most sex offenders.

Betleski also ordered Roy to pay $4,200 in fines and undergo sex offender treatment.

Assistant County Prosecutor Laura Dezort, however, argued that Roy’s crimes should send him to prison. She said he had abused his position of trust and targeted women who were sick, seeking a job or who worked for him.

She also discounted the letters Roy’s friends, family and patients sent to the judge talking about what a decent man the doctor was.

Dezort said Roy’s supporters, many of whom packed the courtroom Monday, weren’t there when he fondled women for sexual gratification under the guise of legitimate medical exams.

“Gross sexual imposition is an offense of violence,” she said. “It’s a crime of power.”

During last year’s trial, Roy’s attorney, Kenneth Lieux, argued that prosecutors had failed to prove that his client experienced sexual gratification or threatened force against his victims.

He also has pointed out that although Roy was originally accused of molesting seven victims, he was convicted of crimes against only four of those.

Lieux said Monday his client already has paid a high price for crimes he still denies committing.

He said Roy is being stripped of his medical licenses and must register as a sex offender for the next 15 years.

Roy also faces civil lawsuits from two of the victims and those cases have been bolstered by Roy’s conviction, Lieux said.

Roy, whose request for a new trial Betleski rejected, plans to appeal his convictions.

None of the victims spoke during the hearing, but Dezort read a statement from one victim, who wrote that Roy had never apologized for victimizing her and other women.

“I’m only sorry he wasn’t caught sooner,” Dezort quoted the woman as writing.

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