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Former osteopathic doctor James Bressi's sentence stayed pending appeal to Ohio Supreme Court

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: September 4, 2016 12:00 AM

Hudson -- The 59-day jail sentence for a former Hudson osteopathic doctor found guilty of sexual imposition in 2014 has been stayed pending an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Scot Stevenson agreed to keep the stay of sentence in place for James P. Bressi Aug. 30 pending the appeal. If his appeal is unsuccessful, Stevenson said Bressi would serve his jail time without any more delays.

On Aug. 29, 2014, the jury in Judge Tom Parker's courtroom at the Summit County Court of Common Pleas found Bressi guilty of one count of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor. Stevenson replaced Parker this year after Parker became a federal magistrate judge in Cleveland in January.

Bressi was sentenced on Oct. 7, 2014, to serve 59 days and pay a $500 fine. The court ordered a stay of the sentence to allow Bressi to appeal.

The Aug. 30 hearing was for a request by the Summit County prosecuting attorney's office to have the stay lifted.

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"The 9th District Court of appeals heard the case and issued an opinion Aug. 3, 2016, and confirmed the conviction," said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonathan Baumoel. "We are here today asking the stay be lifted and sentenced be imposed."

Bressi's defense attorney, Michael Callahan, argued the stay did not say what level of appeal, and he has until Sept. 16 to file an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.

"We ask the court to keep the stay in effect," Callahan said.

Baumoel said the state is opposed to the stay remaining in effect.

"It is time for this defendant to face the consequences of that conviction," Baumoel said.

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The case began in August 2013 and has been in the judicial system for approximately three years if not longer, Baumoel said. That doesn't count the investigation, he added.

"There is a strong interest on behalf of the state, a strong interest by the community, as you can see by the people in the courtroom, and above all, a strong interest for the victim of that count that there be some finality, that we bring this matter to an end, and the defendant now face the consequences of his actions." Baumoel said. "We are asking to deny that request and impose sentence today."

Stevenson said it was appropriate for the issue to be heard on appeal and that every defendant before the court has constitutional rights.

He told Bressi that if the appeal is unsuccessful, he will expect him to serve his time. If the appeal is successful, the court would deal with it at that time, he added.

Bressi, who was given credit for serving 13 days in jail, would serve 46 days in the Summit County Jail if his appeal is unsuccessful.

The original case

Bressi treated a woman at Summit Pain Specialists in Stow, which he owned and operated at the time. The clinic closed Aug. 15, 2016.

During osteopathic manipulation treatment, the female victim testified Bressi placed her arm along the side of her body and pressed his genitalia in her upturned hand.

Bressi testified during the trial that he believed the women mistook his genitalia for two bottles he carried in his pocket.

The jury found Bressi not guilty of 26 of the 27 indictments against him, including two counts of rape, 13 counts of gross sexual imposition and 11 count of sexual imposition against 10 women. Some of the women appeared in court for the Aug. 30 hearing.

He voluntarily surrendered his medical license to the Ohio Medical Board May 28, 2015, and the State Medical Board issued an order to permanently revoke the license.

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP


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