Akron -- A former doctor and Hudson resident produced a unique reason for why 10 of 11 women have accused him of placing his private parts in their hand or rubbing against them during pain treatment visits at Summit Pain Specialists in Stow.
James P. Bressi, 60, is facing two counts of rape, 13 additional felony counts of gross sexual imposition and 12 misdemeanor counts of sexual imposition while the women were under his care from September 2011 to March 2013.
During cross-examination of Bressi Wednesday, Summit County Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi asked how the victims could be mistaken.
Bressi stood at the witness table and removed two bottles from his left pants pocket.
"There is a very good reason," Bressi said.
He placed the four-inch bottles with tapering tops on the witness stand table.
"I've carried these in my left pocket of my pants for 10 years," Bressi said. "They're rather phallic-like. One is soft with fluids going through it, and the other is hard."
He said the sweetener and antibiotic bottles could have rubbed against the patient.
"All this investigation, you're telling me all this was a misunderstanding?" LoPrinzi asked. "They were just grabbing your medicines in your pocket?"
LoPrinzi showed a photograph of each victim, reviewed testimony and asked for his explanation of the charges.
Bressi testified that patients did not know all the techniques of osteopathic manipulation treatment, they were confused by medications they were taking and claimed many of the patients were under stress or misinterpreted his actions. He said some of the patients had severe brain or psychological problems that affected memory and emotions or caused hallucinations.
Bressi also said Dr. Robert Geiger, who at one time could have bought into a partnership but didn't, wanted to force him from Summit Pain Specialists, even though Bressi said he had announced he was going to retire. Geiger instituted a policy that Bressi needed a chaperone with female patients and asked other employees to spy on him, Bressi said.
"Is Dr. Geiger using them [victims] as tools to oust you from the business?" LoPrinzi asked Bressi.
"Absolutely," Bressi answered.
LoPrinzi said Bressi had been in charge for 19 years and asked if he was "bold and brash?" He reminded Bressi that the previous day he was instructed to demonstrate the OMT techniques on one of his former patients but treated her, including cracking her neck, which was improper because he no longer has a medical license.
"You did it anyway," LoPrinzi said. "That's a bold move."
"I did it for 20 years. I can do it in my sleep," Bressi said. "I couldn't turn it off. I just did it."
After LoPrinzi finished his questioning, defense Attorney Michael Callahan named each victim and asked Bressi, "Did you ever touch (victim's name) in a sexual manner or for sexual gratification?"
"I did not," Bressi answered each time.
Judge Tom Parker told the jury not to return until Monday for deliberations. A verdict could be announced next week.
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