Connectiuct Doctor Charged With Patient Sex Assaults
CLINTON, Conn. (AP and WTIC-AM)–A 43-year-old doctor was arrested Tuesday on charges he sexually assaulted patients at Clinton’s Community Health Center.
Dr. Tory Westbrook of Glastonbury is charged with seven counts of second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree sexual assault for attacks that police say occurred between 2010 and January of this year.
The arrest came after a five-month investigation that also included the state’s attorney’s office and state Departments of Health and Consumer Protection, Clinton police said in a news release.
The health center released a statement saying it received a serious complaint against Westbrook within days after he resigned in February to become medical director of the Charter Oak Health Center in Hartford.
Defense attorney Norm Pattis says the doctor will plead not guilty.
“Dr. Westbrook is an outstanding physician, who has for many years given a great deal to the community,” Pattis said. “I would ask for people to suspend judgement, and not believe everything they read.”
Pattis says the doctor has requested a voluntary leave of absence from his medical jobs.
Attorney Christopher Morano represents two of the patients.
“They are very distraught,” Morano said. “These are brave women who are seeking the support they they need. They will be in this courthouse when they are needed to present factual testimony at the appropriate time.”
When asked if the women would file a civil lawsuit against the doctor, Morano said that would depend on how the facts of the case play out.
Pattis says he expects Morano will file a civil lawsuit.
“If he thinks there is a roulette wheel, and we are going to spit out cash for him or anyone else who comes out with unsubstantiated claims, I have a message for him. Back off, and buy a lottery ticket. Dr. Westbrook is not one of those.”
Health center officials said they reported the allegation to both police and the Health Department and have been cooperating in the investigation.
“Community Health Center takes all patient concerns seriously and has stringent procedures in place to protect the quality and safety of care,” the center said in its statement. “We will continue to work with authorities as needed.”
Police said they interviewed “a number of victim patients” who reported they were sexually abused during appointments at the Clinton office.
Westbrook did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment that was left at his home. He was arraigned Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court, and his bond was left at $450,000.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)