COVINGTON - A local physician is out on bail following his arrest Thursday after two patients came forward with allegations that he touched them inappropriately during medical consultations.
A Conyers resident, Dr. Muhammad Abbasi, 42, was taken into custody by the Newton County Sheriff's Office on Thursday morning at his office, Alliance Family Care LLC, located at 1775 Access Road in Covington.
He was charged with two counts of sexual battery and one count of simple battery and released on $5,000 bond on Thursday afternoon.
"We had a victim come forward in early June and advise us of an incident that occurred in late 2007," said NCSO Lt. Bill Watterson. "She stated that she was embarrassed and reluctant to come forward at that time."
Watterson said the 62-year-old woman reported there was "inappropriate touching and inappropriate contact" as she was meeting with Abbasi.
Following her report, Watterson said he contacted and reinterviewed a 24-year-old woman who had made a similar complaint to the Sheriff's Office in April 2008.
Following Abbasi's arrest, Watterson said he attempted to interview him concerning the allegations, but he "invoked his right to an attorney."
"He wholeheartedly denies that he has done anything improper," said Paul Oeland, Abbasi's attorney. "It has always been his standard practice that any time a physical exam is necessary, that he have a nurse with him. He has always been above reproach."
Oeland said that the 24-year-old woman brought her allegations to the NCSO but "they didn't think enough of them ... and referred her to Magistrate Court to apply for a warrant. ... On (May 28), the doctor appeared with witnesses prepared to defend him, but she did not appear on that day.
"We look forward to our day in court and our opportunity to deny these charges," Oeland said.
Watterson said that if Abbasi is found guilty of both counts of sexual battery, he would face a felony conviction ranging from one to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Abbasi is a graduate of Dow Medical College in Pakistan. According to his Web site, he performed his medical residency at Mount Sinai Queens, N.Y., and then completed his internal medicine training and became board certified in 1998. He opened Alliance Family Care in the winter of 2003.
Watterson asked that if anyone has more information pertaining to the investigation, they contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 678-625-1400, leave a tip on the NCSO's anonymous tip line at 678-625-5007 or visit the Web at www.newtonsheriff.ga.org.