LIMA — The Bluffton doctor accused of the improper touching of patients was found guilty of three of the five charges against him Saturday in Lima Municipal Court.
All of the charges were third-degree misdemeanor counts of sexual imposition.
Dr. James Gideon, 72, was unemotional as the verdict was read at the end of the four-day trial.
“The jury heard all of the evidence. They took all of the matters into consideration and they deliberated as well a jury should. I noticed they were taking notes during the entirety of the trial, and I think they reached the verdicts that were appropriate,” said Nicole Smith, assistant prosecutor for the City of Lima.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by Judge Tammie Hursh, but the victims were allowed to speak Saturday, rather than come back when he’s sentenced.
“I do not want to live in fear of this man. If I never saw him again, it would be too soon. All I ask the court is to never give Gideon the opportunity to take advantage of another vulnerable woman again,” said one victim.
Dr. Gideon, a rheumatology and internal medicine physician, who operated an office in Bluffton, could receive a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail, pay a $500 fine, as well as restitution, and up to five years probation for each of the three counts he was found guilty of.
Gideon’s attorney Dennis Belli says they will appeal.
“There are a number of issues, one of the more significant issues is the admission of the recording of the State Medical Board’s interrogation of Dr. Gideon at his office. It was an unannounced visit. It took the doctor off guard. We believe that it was an improper use of the investigator’s authority for the medical board to coerce the doctor into making statements that are not accurate. We believe he was manipulated, and we view that as a significant issue for the appellate court,” Belli said.
Gideon is scheduled to be sentenced at 8 a.m. May 11 in Lima Municipal Court.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.