California anesthesiologist pleads not guilty to sexually assaulting patient

Anesthesiologist Annamalai Ashokan, MD, pleaded not guilty May 2 to sexually assaulting a patient in 2018, the Oroville Mercury-Register reports.

Authorities arrested Dr. Ashokan Jan. 30 after investigating a patient's allegations that she awoke from a pain treatment procedure to find Dr. Ashokan putting his mouth on her breast.

Dr. Ashokan was arrested at his part-time office in Chico, Calif., but is now out on bail. He faces one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for June 20.

Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Ashokan admitted to unprofessional conduct after a female patient in Hollister, Calif. — where he primarily practices — accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. He completed probation related to the incident in 2006.

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