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Female patients complained of being victimized during treatment for pain

12:58 PM, Aug 16, 2013   |    comments
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 PDF Document: State Medical Board of Ohio

The Ohio Medical Board on Thursday suspended the medical license of Dr. James Bressi of Hudson based on complaints from five female patients that he sexually victimized them in his examining room.

As exclusively reported by the Investigator earlier this month, Bressi was accused by several women of touching them inappropriately while they were being treated for severe pain at Summit Pain Clinic in Stow, where he worked until he was fired in March.

The Medical Board stated that Bressi's "continued practice presents a danger of immediate and serious harm to the public."

While Bressi may request a hearing, his license to practice osteopathic medicine and surgery was suspended immediately.

His alleged misconduct constitutes sexual battery, the board pointed out, which is a felony.

Bressi, 59, repeatedly said "no comment" this week when the Investigator asked him in person about the allegations of sexual misconduct.

Previously, he said that he was "innocent" and refused to answer questions, saying only that the allegations were "none of your business."

The Stow police have said a criminal investigation of Bressi is under way based on complaints from some of the women.

According to the medical board's suspension documents, Bressi was subpoenaed to appear before them on Aug. 1.

At that appearance, he denied engaging in any sexual misconduct with patients.

He did say that after the Summit Pain Clinic received complaints from both patients and staff that he was engaging in inappropriate conduct with patients, he was prohibited by the practice from performing a treatment called "osteopathic manipulative therapy" without a chaperone present.

Bressi acknowledged to the board that he violated that policy and continued to perform OMT on some female patients without a chaperone.

He admitted that he was fired because of the complaints of sexual misconduct, and because he violated the chaperone policy.

He also said he had administered ozone injections, an alternative medical therapy, on patients without their knowledge or consent.

One patient told the board that the sexual activity occurred at the Summit Pain Clinic during a medical procedure when Dr. Bressi placed her hand on his genitals.

Another patient said he pulled down her pants and touched her genitals.

Some women allege that he raped them digitally.

In an interview with the Investigator in early August, one patient and her husband told how Bressi had placed her on an examination table with a wall of curtains around her.

Her husband said there was a small crack in the curtains, and he could not believe what he saw while she was sedated.

"His hands were not on her back," said the woman's husband, Bill. "They were on her lower butt area, her private area. I was ready to kill him."

Bill and his wife, Minnie, who went to the Stow police to file a complaint, said police told them as many as 27 patients had come forward to complain about Dr. Bressi. Stow police have not confirmed that number.

A patient named Pam said Bressi was giving her a deep tissue massage when he tried to place his hands where they didn't belong.

"It was almost unfathomable," she said. "He would stick his hands into my underpants. He had an erection. He was getting his jollies off, I guess."

Another patient, Carol, said he would have her lie face down on an examining table, then he would move around the table, rubbing up against her. The part touching her hands, she said, was "his penis."

A number of women who complained to the medical board described precisely the same action.

Another patient reported that he had her masturbate him.

The patients who spoke to Channel 3 said they would have come forward sooner, but they feared Dr. Bressi might cut off the pain medication they badly needed.

They also thought no one would believe them.

They said they decided to break their silence when they saw a Channel 3 News report on the pain clinic several weeks before.

One of Bressi's partners at Summit Pain Specialists was Dr. Robert Geiger, who is still seeing patients at the clinic. He has refused comment.

Ultimately, the Ohio medical board will issue a final disciplinary order which could include putting Bressi on probation or issuing a reprimand -- or they could decide to permanently revoke his license to practice medicine.          

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