The physician was convicted of sexual charges in December.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Criticizing him for using his authority to violate his patients, Judge C. Ashley Pike sentenced a physician to four years in prison.
Dr. Anil Bajaj, 40, formerly of St. Clair Township, received the sentence Friday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.
Dr. Bajaj was convicted by a jury in December on charges of sexual battery and gross sexual imposition involving two female patients during separate examinations in July 2001.
He was convicted of sexual battery in the case involving a 21-year-old woman. His sentence for that offense was three years.
Dr. Bajaj was convicted of gross sexual imposition in the case of a 36-year-old female patient.
The judge sentenced him to one year for that crime and said both sentences must run consecutively.
The maximum sentence Dr. Bajaj could have received was 6 1/2 years.
County assistant Prosecutor Tim McNicol recommended the four-year sentence that was imposed.
After the hearing, he said he felt the recommended sentence fit the crime, considering that the doctor had no prior convictions.
Both victims were in the courtroom but neither chose to address the court during the sentencing.
Plans to appeal
Dr. Bajaj, who had maintained during his trial that his actions regarding the women were medically necessary and proper, made no comment before his sentencing.
His attorney, Lawrence Stacey II of Columbiana, said the doctor is maintaining his innocence and intends to appeal his conviction. Stacey did not say on what grounds.
Stacey asked Judge Pike to place Dr. Bajaj on probation, noting that the doctor had previously led a law-abiding life.
Stacey also said that it's likely that his client, a resident alien and native of India, will be deported after serving his sentence.
Judge Pike accused Dr. Bajaj of using his authority as a doctor for his own sexual gratification.
The judge also chided the doctor for "the knowledge you have thrown away."