In June of 2007, a Vermont doctor was accused of inappropriately touching and assaulting a 22 year old patient. His employer, Fletcher Allen Health Care, placed him on leave following the allegations pending trial. The victim had recently undergone a knee surgery performed by Dr. Abate, and it was during the follow up appointment that the assault took place. The victim claimed that the doctor, under the guise of a legitimate medical procedure for hip pain, digitally penetrated her despite the fact she had not complained of any hip pain.
Following the original allegation, more victims have stepped forward, many of which were from local colleges or high schools at which Dr. Abate worked as a sports medicine consultant. At trial, the doctor was charged with four sexual assault and three aggravated sexual assault counts, with seven women claiming he had inappropriately touched them. These allegations occurred during examinations spanning four years, from 2003 to 2007.
The first trial ended in a hung jury, forcing a second trial. In order to minimize prison time, Dr. Abate pleaded no contest at the beginning of a second trial to a misdemeanor and agreed to a permanent revocation of his license to practice medicine.
Associated Press – John Curan