[UPDATED with Controversial Plea Deal:] Dr. Yashwant Balgiri Giri Guilty of Sex Assaults on Patients That Cost Hospital $50k Fine
The California Department of Public Health has fined Placentia-Linda Hospital $50,000 for the assaults Cypress resident Giri is scheduled to answer for during a jury trial scheduled to begin March 20.
The state's investigative report does not name Giri, but the facts of the case Placentia-Linda Hospital received the fine for fit his case.Yashwant Balgiri Giri Accused of Sex Assaults on Unconscious Patients
The 60-year-old pleaded not guilty in June 2011 to accusations he fingered a 16-year-old girl and massaged the breasts of a 36-year-old woman while both were unconscious.
The Orange County district attorney's office reported at the time that a nurse whose back had been turned whipped around to witness the assault on the girl and later reported the incident to her hospital superiors, who did nothing. A different hospital employee was said by prosecutors to look in on a surgery to see Giri rubbing the woman's breasts, which led to another report to the hospital, which that time contacted the Placentia Police Department.
Placentia-Linda says Giri has not been on staff since his arrest, and the California Medical Board stripped him of his license in June 2011. The hospital has since trained its staff on the proper reporting procedures for such incidents, according to its health-department response.
Giri, who worked at several Orange County and Southern California hospitals over the years, could get eight years in state prison if he is convicted of felony sexual battery on an institutionalized victim and sexual penetration by foreign object of an unconscious victim.
UPDATE, FEB. 20, 12:17 P.M.: Dr. Yashwant Balgiri Giri changed his plea to guilty to various felony and misdemeanor counts today, and Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald sentenced the 60-year-old to 180 days in jail, five years of formal probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
Actually, that should be former doctor, as Giri's plea strips him of his license to practice medicine in California.
But Orange County Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols of the Sexual Assault Unit objected to the sentence, arguing Giri deserved a state prison sentence for violating his position of power and trust and sexually assaulting his victims when they were unconscious and extremely vulnerable.
The sentence also did not sit well with one of the women Giri violated, based on her written victim-impact statement to the court.
"Learning that this man, who has victimized and sexually assaulted not only me, but [also] countless women, has only been awarded 180 days and 5 years [of] probation has made me want to present this statement, only hoping that my words will have as much impact on his sentence as it has on my life. I don't feel that the current sentence is enough penalty for this man's actions.
"His actions make me question every single doctor, nurse, medical decision and procedure I encounter within my everyday life. I not only fear for myself, [but also] I fear for my child, my friends, my family. This is a burden caused by the perverted actions of this predator. Mr. Giri took a position that would give him access to those who are seeking healing and help and in turn would violate and use his work to take advantage of those who could not defend themselves.
"With respect, it is your responsibility, your Honor, to uphold a sentence and a penalty that will prevent an injustice such as this to ever happen again, and not just for the moment, but for the long run."
Giri, a former Placentia-Linda Hospital anesthesiologist, copped to: felony sexual battery on an institutionalized woman (the victim whose statement was read in court today); felony sexual penetration by foreign object of an unconscious victim and sexual penetration by foreign object of a minor girl; and felony sexual battery by fraud and sexual penetration by foreign object of an unconscious victim; and misdemeanor sexual battery for a third female, an adult.
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