A Reseda dentist who led a second life as a “sex-crazed degenerate” molested two women in his office last year and told blatant lies on the witness stand to persuade a jury to acquit him of five counts of sexual assault, a prosecutor said Monday.
A three-week trial for Dr. Kamal Matian, 46, came to a close in Van Nuys Superior Court with attorneys on both sides telling the jury that credibility is at the center of the case.
Urging guilty verdicts because the two alleged victims certainly told the truth, Deputy Dist. Atty. Renee F. Urman said Matian gave a “coached, well-rehearsed performance.”
Matian told “a story from Mars” to cover up his greatest violation, that of using the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship to fulfill his sexual needs, Urman said.
“Think of how vulnerable this person is, particularly a woman, lying back in a chair,” Urman told the seven men and five women on the jury.
Matian is accused of attacking a 19-year-old woman on Sept. 11, 1992, and a 38-year-old woman who said she went to the doctor in late February, 1992, for help with severe tooth pain.
Both women say they were assaulted in Matian’s office on the 18700 block of Sherman Way.
The 19-year-old was “shocked and afraid to resist because she was afraid he would hurt her more,” Urman said, explaining why the woman initially appeared unfazed to a co-worker.
Later, she was hysterical and unable to speak when police stopped her as she ran away from Matian’s office.
The other alleged victim, a North Hills woman, also testified that she was attacked, but the focus of her testimony was on her problems with drugs and legal authorities.
The woman admitted that she was addicted to a narcotic pain reliever at the time that Matian allegedly molested her. She also said she would routinely call dentists listed in the Yellow Pages and claim to be a patient in need of pain relievers, particularly the Vicodin that she was addicted to.
Additionally, the woman pleaded guilty to two felony robbery counts in June, 1992, and she reported the attack only after meeting with a dentist involved in a legal squabble with Matian.
Because she discussed her illegal activities under immunity from prosecution, Urman said, “there was no reason for her to come up here to lie.”
But defense attorney James E. Blatt disagreed, and spent the majority of his closing arguments discussing possible motives for the women to concoct the allegations against his client.
The North Hills woman who admitted a drug dependency is a “master manipulator” who is the only person to leave the trial a winner, Blatt said, creating an elaborate theory of how she used the system to receive a special type of immunity that forever prevents prosecution on as many as 50 counts of fraudulently obtaining prescriptions.
“Anything she says from the witness stand is gone forever,” even if authorities discover her crimes through an independent source, Blatt said.
The former employee was chastised as being a gold digger who wanted Matian to pay for part of her wedding in exchange for being named a godfather at the ceremony.
“She got caught fabricating (her allegations) out of her desire for a big wedding,” Blatt charged.
“Our thrust in the case is that it didn’t occur--simple and straightforward,” Blatt said.
If convicted, Matian could be sentenced to more than 17 years in state prison.