- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2015

A San Diego doctor who sexually assaulted unconscious patients and took explicit photographs of them with his cell phone received no jail time during his sentencing Friday.

Dr. Jeffrey Joel Abrams, 68, pleaded guilty in July to eight counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person, three counts of sexual battery and one count of possession of child pornography, the Times of San Diego reported.

The misconduct involving a total of 12 victims took place at Volunteers in Medicine, a low-income clinic in El Cajon, between June 2010 and June 2014, said Deputy District Attorney Kerry Conway.

On Friday, Judge Laura Halgren suspended a 25-year, eight-month prison sentence for Abrams, so long as he successfully completes one year of house arrest, five years of probation and 200 hours of community service. Abrams was also barred from ever practicing medicine again and must register for life as a sex offender, the Times reported.

The doctor’s serious health conditions stemming from kidney cancer were also considered in his sentencing. The victims felt strongly that they did not want taxpayers to bear the burden of his medical care in prison, said Jessica Pride, an attorney representing 10 of the victims, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The encounters were described by prosecutors as “unnecessary and inappropriate” vaginal exams by Abrams, sometimes without gloves. He was also accused of asking patients to let him take intimate photographs of them for teaching purposes, the Union-Tribune reported. Hundreds of such photos were found on his cellphone, authorities said.

Several victims have filed a civil lawsuit against the physician, Raw Story reported.

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