A former East Hartford doctor has been found guilty on the lesser of two sex assault charges and faces the possibility of spending more than 10 years behind bars.
Dr. Edwin Njoku, who was charged with sexually assaulting several female patients, has been on trial for one of those cases and was found not guilty of first-degree sex assault, the most serious of the charges.
He was found guilty of fourth-degree sex assault and tampering with witness and is being held on $3.5 million bond until he is sentenced in December.
"He's clearly devastated," Njoku's defense attorney, Norm Pattis, said. "This is not the result he hoped for. He maintains his innocence."
Prosecutors told jurors that Njoku forcibly raped the victim, identified in court by her initials A.D., and kissed her breasts during an exam for back pain at his East Hartford office in October 2011.
"The doctor thought he had A.D. under control. He obviously didn't think she'd report what happened," prosecutor Vicki Melchiorre said.
Pattis questioned whether there's enough physical evidence and whether the alleged victim and other witnesses were credible enough during the trial to convict Njoku of the crimes.
"If you have reasonable doubt about what happened, you must acquit. I am begging you to follow the law," Pattis said.
The defense claims that Njoku was the victim and that the patient made sexual advances toward him, including rubbing up against and grabbing his private area to get another prescription for pain medication.
"She was at the doctor's office looking for something. Whether she was looking for love in all the wrong places, you decide," Pattis said.
Two other patients who claim Njoku touched them inappropriately during exams also testified during the trial.
"Obviously this man took advantage of his position as a doctor to abuse his most vulnerable patients," Melchiorre said.
Njoku is charged with first degree sexual assault, fourth degree sexual assault and tampering with evidence in the case.
Pattis said he will appeal the conviction.