UPDATE: Accusers testify against Okemos physical therapist
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Two women have testified in the preliminary examination of an Okemos Therapy Services owner following criminal sexual conduct charges.
The preliminary examination got started after 9:30 a.m. Friday morning in front of Judge Donald Allen.
The case involves Ajay Bhargava, who faces eight criminal sexual conduct charges, according to the Ingham County Prosecutors Office.
One of the accusers was on the stand for about two hours Friday morning.
She testified she started seeing Bhargava after coworkers recommended him last year.
“Coworkers have seen him and went to physical therapy. MSU did great work as well, i just wanted to see what else was out there,” she said.
The woman told the judge Bhargava would use heating pads and massages during her time as a patient.
However, she felt something wasn't right.
“I thought the massages were uncomfortable,” she said. “To me it was inappropriate.”
The woman testified she felt like she was being groomed to the point Bhargava felt more comfortable with her.
“He asked me to remove my bra and another woman was coming in to watch his treatment,” she told the judge.
She said while Bhargava was massaging her neck, he reached down her shirt and groped her breasts.
“How are you feeling when this is going on?” the prosecution asked.
“Frozen. I was frozen,” the woman replied.
The second witness said Barghava also touched her inappropriately while she was a patient of his. She said he got close to her genital area.
“I was feeling very vulnerable like I was in a bad situation,” she said. “I was thinking I needed to just bear with it and get through it as quicky as I could. "
You can watch the preliminary examination here:
Barghava’s license was suspended back in November after multiple women accused him of touching them inappropriately.
Back on Jan. 9, three women testified that he got pleasure out of groping them during treatment and said they want to keep his suspension in place.
One patient with neck pain said Bhargava asked her to undress from the waist up and then stared at her breasts.
Another, who was seeing Bhargava for pain in her elbow, said he asked her to remove her bra while he massaged her shoulders and moved down to her buttocks. The patient said he eventually asked her to undress completely as he massaged her breasts.
A third patient saw Bhargava for neck pain.
She said he too massaged her buttocks and breasts and that he had an erection afterward.
Barghava's attorney, Brian Morley, confirmed to News 10 that the owner disputes the allegations.
"Nothing improper or inappropriate happened during the course of medical treatment," Morley said.
Morley also said Barghava disputes the allegations and says nothing improper or inappropriate happened during the course of medical treatment.
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