Alleged Sex Assault Victims Of Former Casper Doctor Tell Their Stories
"I never had anybody do that before."
"I felt helpless."
"I felt like I was trapped."
"I was shocked; 'what the hell just happened?'"
By the end of the second day of the trial of former Casper doctor Paul Harnetty in Natrona County District Court, at least two of his four alleged victims cried during their testimonies.
Harnetty, an obstetrician/gynecologist, is charged with eight counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault. If convicted on all counts he could face between 16 and 190 years of imprisonment.
The case began in October 2015 when police received a report of three women who claimed Harnetty conducted himself inappropriately during their verbal and physical examinations. Over the next year, three more women reported such conduct according to the charging documents filed in January 2017 when Harnetty was arrested in Minnesota.
During the testimonies, Harnetty sat between his two attorneys and rarely, if ever, looked at his accusers.
Monday, the first alleged victim to testify before the eight-woman, six-man (including two alternates) jury said she had an appointment with Harnetty for just a pap smear at the Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming in September 2015.
However, he conducted a breast exam, played with a nipple and asked if she was breast feeding, to which she responded "no" because her child was four years old. He also pinched her left labia and his fingers rubbed her clitoris, she said. "I never had anybody (doctor) do that before."
She said she thought it was all right because Harnetty was a doctor and knew what he was doing.
A few weeks later, she asked a friend whether the exam was normal, and the friend responded it wasn't normal and she shouldn't see him again.
Tuesday morning, the second alleged victim recounted an experience similar to the first.
She unsuccessfully tried to find another obstetrician/gynecologist, she said. "I felt helpless," she said. "I don't know why I didn't file a complaint."
The third alleged victim said she got an appointment with Harnetty after her other ob/gyn wasn't taking patients. She spoke quietly and haltingly, and cried frequently.
Harnetty took too long to perform a pelvic exam, she said. "It was completely different than any other exam I had before."
Harnetty, she added, didn't wear gloves and his breath smelled strongly of alcohol during one exam.
She spoke to her mother and now-separated husband who told her to report the exam to the police, but did so reluctantly because she didn't want a confrontation, she said. "I felt dirty."
Harnetty's lead defense attorney Don Fuller cross-examined the alleged victims about what happened when; sometimes different if not contradictory reports to detectives; whether what they experienced was medically necessary compared to what they said was uncomfortable; and whether they had been in contact with each other.
Fuller caught the third alleged victim in contradictions about her medical conditions, whether she had an ultrasound, and the number of times she met with Harnetty -- all of which further made her cry.
The fourth alleged victim was the opposite of the third.
She openly talked about her medical history, and some of the strange conversations she had with Harnetty.
She had monthly appointments to receive prescriptions for post-pregnancy weight loss, she said.
But one time, she and a friend visited him and made small talk about his interest in medicine. Harnetty, she said, responded that he had a choice between emergency room care and ob/gyn.
She asked why he chose the latter, Harnetty responded, "'I like to see pregnant women in pain.'"
On Christmas Day 2014, she sent a picture of her year-old daughter to him and thanked him for his care. They text-messaged each other and later she and her husband returned intoxicated from a party. Harnetty, who was drunk, texted her and asked if he could go to her place and have a three-way sexual encounter with her and her husband. She agreed.
She had another consensual encounter a week later, but then wanted to keep the relationship professional.
Meanwhile, Harnetty's girlfriend, began messaging her, and telling her Harnetty was beating her and other women.
She also learned Harnetty had a sexually transmitted disease.
Among other behaviors, she said Harnetty would push himself against her crotch, would grab her breasts and butt.
She couldn't find another ob/gyn so she kept seeing him for appointments and during one he shoved two fingers into her anus.
"I looked at him with 'what the hell just happened,'" she said.
Harnetty responded with a smirk and said, "'I just like watching the expression on your face.'"