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Trial begins for former doctor James Bressi

Hudson resident who practiced in Stow faces 27 charges of sexual misconduct

by laura freeman | reporter Published: August 15, 2014 9:50 AM
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Akron -- The sexual misconduct trial of former doctor James P. Bressi, 60, of Victoria Parkway in Hudson began Aug. 14, with two of 11 alleged victims testifying.

Bressi is accused of sexually assaulting patients under his care from September 2011 to March 2013, while he was employed at Summit Pain Specialists in Stow.

The office of Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh indicted Bressi on 27 counts of sexual misconduct, which includes charges of sexual imposition, gross sexual imposition and rape. He was indicted on 23 counts on Aug. 29, 2013, and an additional four charges on Dec. 20, 2013.

He pleaded not guilty to the original charges Sept. 4, 2013, and pleaded not guilty to the supplemental charges Jan. 10, 2014.

A jury of eight men and four women was selected the morning of Aug. 14 for the trial in Judge Tom Parker's Summit County Court of Common Pleas courtroom.

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Jurors were taken to view Bressi's former offices on Allen Road in Stow before testimony began.

"The view is not evidence and is used only to understand evidence presented in the courtroom," Parker said.

Opening statements were made by Summit County Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Ryan LoPrinzi and Margaret Scott, and Bressi's attorney Michael T. Callahan.

"We are not here to judge if Dr. Bressi is a good guy or a bad guy," LoPrinzi said. "Many witnesses will tell you the same story about pain, trust, shock and fear."

The state has 11 victims who will testify, LoPrinzi said.

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"It is my job to convey to you and firmly convince you these 11 women are not lying, not crazy and not mistaken. They are telling you what happened," he argued.

Callahan asked jurors to wait to make up their minds until they heard "the rest of the story."

"Listen to not only what they say, but how, when and who they said it to and how it was recorded," Callahan said.

He said Bressi will take the stand.

Two women testified Aug. 14. Both women said they had chronic pain and went to the Summit County Pain Specialists in Stow for treatment.

Record Publishing Co. does not name victims of sexual assault.

One of the women, age 55, testified about an incident that occurred in 2012 while in the procedure room where she was face down on the table. She testified that Dr. Bressi made her fondle him after several attempts to remove her hand from beside her body.

She also testified that at a Jan. 31, 2013, visit, he made inappropriate contact with her. She filed a police report with Stow Detective Jeff Swanson Feb. 15, 2013.

Callahan produced a July 19, 2012, procedure report stating Dr. Robert Geiger was in the Summit County Pain Specialist office and not Dr. Bressi. Another document showed only Dr. Geiger had seen her prior to that date.

The witness said it did not change her testimony.

Another witness, age 54, testified she was in an exam room on her stomach with a nurse in December 2011, when Dr. Bressi "verbally, maliciously, aggressively told me to place my hand in an uncomfortable position" by her side with her palm upward. He then made her fondle him.

"I didn't report it. Who would believe me? A doctor, a professional, someone in the medical field," she testified.

She also testified that when she came in later for an epidural, Dr. Bressi penetrated her with his finger.

"What do I do? Do I scream? I wasn't in my home. I was in his home," she said.

Testimony was scheduled to continue Aug. 15 at 9 a.m.

Tim Troglen contributed to this article.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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