Anesthesiologist out on bail, charged with sexually assaulting patient — 6 things to know

Hollister, Calif.-based anesthesiologist Annamalai Ashokan, MD, was charged with sexual battery for allegedly putting his mouth on a patient's breast when she was unconscious, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports.

What you should know:

1. Dr. Ashokan was charged with a misdemeanor count of sexual battery and scheduled to be arraigned March 22. He is currently out on bail.

2. Chico, Calif., police arrested Dr. Ashokan in January after investigating allegations he assaulted a female patient who came to his Hollister office seeking injections for pain treatment in April 2018. The patient said she passed out during a routine procedure and awoke to find Dr. Ashokan putting his mouth on her breast.

3. Investigators linked Dr. Ashokan to the alleged incident through DNA testing. The patient gleaned additional information by wearing a wire.

4. Dr. Ashokan denied the allegations, according to his attorney. The defense is arguing that the patient scheduled a follow-up visit and didn't notify a medical assistant who was outside the examination room's glass door.

"What is being described by the patient did not happen,” Attorney Philip Heithecker said.

5. Dr. Ashokan was accused of sexual misconduct in a separate case in 2001. He admitted to unprofessional conduct with a female patient and the California Medical Board placed him on probation for five years.

6. Dr. Ashokan's physician profile is listed on Chico-based Skyway Surgery Center's website. He has private practices in Hollister and Chico, and is affiliated with Pacific Pain Treatment Center in Hollister, Monterey Pain Treatment Medical Center in Hollister and Chico, and Medical Specialty Center in Gridley, Calif., according to BenitoLink.

More articles on anesthesia:
Preoperative frailty assessments in ASCs — 5 insights from anesthesiologist Dr. Lee Fleisher
The 'secret sauce' for NAPA's top-ranking anesthesia department — 4 key principles
3 strategies for launching an anesthesia quality program

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