Six and a half years after he was first accused of illegally touching an employee in his medical clinic, Dr. Gunwant Dhaliwal has been found not guilty in a criminal trial…
…A few months after the criminal conviction, a civil jury decided that the doctor groped another woman, Danielle Turner, and ordered that he pay her $820,000 in damages.
Turner was the woman involved in Dhaliwal’s second misdemeanor battery case, which went to trial this month. A six-person jury found him not guilty of groping Turner, a newly hired physician’s assistant.
The difference between the outcomes of the civil case and the criminal one, Dhaliwal said, was a matter of evidence. He blamed shoddy legal representation for his initial loss, saying his first lawyer failed to present evidence that swayed jurors in the most recent trial.
The jury did not hear about any other allegations against Dhaliwal — just Turner’s — after a judge ruled such material inadmissible.
Turner testified in both trials, saying she visited Dhaliwal’s clinic after hours in February 2007 so the doctor could demonstrate a facial skin treatment she would be performing. Turner said Dhaliwal finished the treatment, then reached under her shirt and fondled her breasts.
In the civil trial, a victim advocate testified that Turner’s face was red and raw the next day, as it would be after a microdermabrasion treatment.
Dhaliwal testified that the incident never happened. He said he and Turner only chatted in the lobby and that his microdermabrasion machine hadn’t been used in years.
He said the same thing at his criminal trial this month — with evidence.
An office manager who was there that night testified that the incident never happened, as did a man present for a scheduled business meeting, said Dhaliwal’s attorney, George Tragos. He also presented billing statements and office records showing that the microdermabrasion machine had not been used in years.
Tragos said there was “a complete lack of evidence on the state’s part.”
Jurors deliberated for 45 minutes.
“We were ecstatic,” Tragos said. “It’s just been a long ordeal and he’s had to suffer a lot for it, but finally he’s been vindicated.”