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Anesthesiologist Accused Of Assaulting Unconscious Patients Pleads Not Guilty

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Yashwant Balgiri Giri (credit: Orange County District Attorney's Office)

Yashwant Balgiri Giri (credit: Orange County District Attorney’s Office)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An anesthesiologist charged with sexually assaulting two female patients — including a 16-year-old girl — while they were unconscious pleaded not guilty on Thursday to felony charges.

Yashwant B. Giri, 58, of Cypress, is charged with sexual battery on an institutionalized victim and sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious victim.

He would face a maximum prison sentence of eight years if convicted, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Giri, who is free on bail, is due back in court on Tuesday for a pretrial hearing.

Prosecutors allege a nurse witnessed the girl being assaulted in February 2009 and reported it to her higher-ups, but Placentia-Linda Hospital administrators did not immediately contact law enforcement.

The attack on the woman allegedly occurred March 18, while she was undergoing an outpatient operation. A hospital employee allegedly saw Giri fondling the woman’s breasts.

Giri was arrested May 5 on a warrant as he drove away from his home and subsequently resigned his position at Placentia-Linda in April.

According to published reports, he has also worked at Lakewood Regional Medical Center, Anaheim Regional Medical Center, West Anaheim Medical Center and Western Medical Center Anaheim.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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