Surgery Expert Witness Needed in Aggravated Sexual Assault Case

Vermont prosecutors say they need more time to find an expert witness to testify against a Colchester orthopedic surgeon charged with performing improper examinations on nine young female patients. According to

Joseph Abate, head of sports medicine at Fletcher Allen Health Care’s orthopedic and rehabilitation department, is facing 14 felony charges from aggravated sexual assault to lewd and lascivious conduct. Assistant Attorney General Cindy Maguire said the surgery expert witness the state had lined up to question Abate’s examinations now could not testify. Abate’s lawyer, Eric Miller, who has called the charges a “tragic mistake,” said the state’s case is falling apart.

Despite his objections, the judge on Monday gave state prosecutors 60 days to find replacement expert witnesses.