UPDATE at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 30: BRESSI ARRESTED AT HOME
Dr. James Bressi was arrested "without incident" on Aug. 30 around noon at his Victoria Parkway home by members of the Hudson and Stow Police Departments, Northeast Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Bressi was taken to the Summit County Jail, according to a press release from Stow Police Chief Louis A. Dirker, Jr. The arrest was the result of an 18-month investigation by Stow Det. Jeff Swanson.
“These charges stem from 10 victims,” according to the Stow Police Department’s press release. “However, there are at least 40 additional victims at this point who have contacted the Stow Police Department. The investigation continues as more victims are still coming forward.”
Bressi’s attorney, John Schiller, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
Police are asking that anyone with information about the case call Det. Swanson at 330-689-5734.
Hudson — A Summit County grand jury indicted a 59-year-old Hudson Dr. James Bressi, of Victoria Parkway, on Aug. 29 on 23 counts of sexual assault against patients.
According to the indictment, Bressi is accused of assaulting the patients under his care from September 2011 to March 2013, while he was employed at Summit Pain Specialists in Stow.
Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh announced the 23-count indictment which includes: one count of rape, a first-degree felony; 11 counts of gross sexual imposition, each one a fourth-degree felony and 11 counts of sexual imposition, each one a third-degree misdemeanor.
“These women put their trust and faith in a medical professional to alleviate their pain,” Walsh said. “Instead of finding relief from chronic pain, they were sexually assaulted. My office will work to ensure Dr. Bressi is held accountable for his actions.”
Bressi’s attorney, John Schiller, did not return a call for comment by press time.
According to the indictment for rape, Bressi is alleged to have compelled a patient to have sexual “conduct” with him using “force or threat of force.”
The gross sexual imposition indictments allege Bressi compelled patients to “submit by force or threat of force” to have sexual contact and that Bressi knew they were “substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or advanced age.”
The sexual imposition indictments allege Bressi caused patients to have sexual contact with him, knowing “that the sexual contact was offensive to the other person.”
An arraignment date on the charges has not been set, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Bressi’s license was suspended Aug. 15 by the Ohio Medical Board of Ohio, which alleged he was involved in sexual misconduct with at least five patients under his care at the Stow medical facility from 2010 to 2013.
The medical board alleged that from 2010 to “about” March 2013, Bressi “perpetrated non-consensual sexual activity” with five patients while working as a doctor at Summit Pain Specialists in Stow.
According to the report, Bressi denied the charges.
“The allegations against Dr. Bressi are disturbing and we take them very seriously,” Dean Rombach, CEO of Summit Pain Specialists, said Aug. 19.
Summit Pain Specialists is located at 4302 Allen Road and is one of many tenants in the Akron General Medical Facility building, but is not affiliated with the hospital.
Bressi is also facing a civil lawsuit filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court May 8 by a group of women that alleges Bressi “engaged in conduct which was outrageous and would shock the conscience of a normal individual and that deviated from the standard of care, skill and diligence that a reasonable physical would have exercised.”
Attorney Lawrence Scanlon is representing eight of the women in suit, which also contains complaints against Summit Pain Specialists and its employees. Scanlon said at least eight more women may file complaints.
“We don’t take it lightly — it’s very serious for everybody,” Scanlon said Aug. 19 of the charges. “It is a shocking set of circumstances. I don’t know how many people are involved.”
The Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties commended the continual effort of Walsh in the case. Prior to the indictment the Rape Crisis Center has received numerous anonymous callers who were patients of Dr. Bressi.
“We are appalled at the exploitation of these patients who put their trust in this doctor,” said Dana Zedak, Director of the Rape Crisis Center. “We wish to encourage all survivors of sexual violence to reach out to us for support and healing. Our hotline is anonymous and open to survivors who wish to report the crime to law enforcement as well as those who choose not too.”
If you are in need of support please contact the Rape Crisis Center at 877-906-7273.