Unusual Defense Tactic In Doctor Sexual Assault Case
Two lawyers made for reluctant witnesses today, in the sexual assault trial of a doctor accused of molesting female patients.
Attorneys Irving Pinsky and Chris Morano represent some of the women who say they were sexually assaulted by the doctor.
After being called to the stand by the defense, they testified that they are pursuing civil lawsuits against Tory Westbrook.
Both appeared on the stand only briefly.
Pinsky initially filed a motion to block his testimony, which he later withdrew. He said in his 30-years as a lawyer he had never been called to the stand this way.
Morano needed a meeting with the defense and the prosecution before he testified.
Westbrook’s defense team may be trying to show that the women making sexual assault allegations have a financial stake in their accusations.
The defense later called a state Department of Public Health investigator to the stand, in an effort to show that one of the women made her story sound worse, after state officials initially refused to investigate.
But the investigator’s testimony at times frustrated and confused both the judge and the states attorney. The state’s attorney said the state Department of Public Health received two complaints about Westbrook, but they went to different investigators, who did not realize there were multiple complaints about the same doctor.
When a third complaint about Westbrook came in to a third investigator, state officials were able to put all three complaints together, and begin investigating.
One of the complaints was filed in October, 2011, but it took until the following year for the department to open a case file.
The investigator said she did not remember what month in 2012 the investigation was opened.
In this criminal trial in superior court in Middletown, Westbrook is defending himself against the allegations of five women. He faces accusations from more than a dozen additional women.