WORLD : Valium, Not Dentist, Gets Blame

From Times Wire Services

A British dentist accused of assaulting women patients was cleared today when a judge ruled the sedative he gave them could have caused sexual fantasies.

Neil Larah, 32, was accused of fondling the breasts of six women in his dentist's chair and sexually assaulting another after following her home.

The judge ordered his acquittal after medical evidence showed injections of the sedative Valium could have caused the women to experience erotic fantasies.

"It is agreed each of the women is giving what she believes to be an entirely accurate account," Judge Derek Hodgson said. "It is also clear that there is a mounting body of evidence that patients under sedation from this class of drugs do sometimes experience sexual or erotic fantasies."

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