A 68-year-old doctor was sentenced Friday to a year of house arrest after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a dozen female patients during examinations.
San Diego County Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren sentenced Jeffrey Joel Abrams to 25 years in prison but stayed the sentence and instead imposed the house arrest because of Abrams’ medical condition.
Abrams requires continuous care due to complications following surgery to remove a cancerous kidney, according to a probation report. He could not receive appropriate care in prison, the report said.
Abrams pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching and photographing female patients at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic in El Cajon. The clinic provides care for low-income patients.
Along with the house arrest, Abrams will serve five years’ probation, register as a sex offender, serve 200 hours of community service and surrender his medical license.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Kerry Conway said Abrams’ victims were satisfied with the plea bargain, deciding it was preferable to having to go to trial.
“This plea agreement ensures they won’t have to relive the crime in court and keeps the defendant away from any potential future victims,” Conway said.
Abrams pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual penetration of an unconscious person, three counts of sexual battery, and one count of possession of child pornography involving pictures of an 8-year-old girl.
Several of his victims have filed a civil lawsuit against him.
Many of the pictures were taken during “unnecessary” vaginal examinations, according to court documents. Hundreds of photos were seized during a raid on Abrams’ home and office, prosecutors said.