Irish dentist denies putting camera in nurse's pants
Thursday 08 October 2009
A dentist has denied touching a trainee dental nurse between her breasts and placing a micro-camera inside her pants.
The trainee nurse claimed that, on her second interview for the job, the dentist put two of his fingers on her sternum, or breastbone, while checking the alignment of her teeth.
She also claimed that, two weeks later, he photographed tattoos with a micro-camera, but then put it down inside her pants.
The dentist claimed touching the woman's sternum was normal practice for the type of dentistry he did.
To the allegation of putting the camera inside the nurse's pants, he replied "never in a month of Sundays".
A third disputed incident involved the dentist allegedly opening buttons on the nurse's new uniform, and putting a biro into the front pocket while flicking it from side to side, the Irish Examiner reported.
At Cork District Court, the dentist denied three counts of sexual assault.
The dentist's solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said his client had touched the uniform "to check the strength or quality of something" that had caused problems for another female member of staff.
In relation to the alleged biro incident, the nurse said she thought that the dentist was touching her breast with it, but that he had told her he was checking to see if the pocket was real.
She said she cried at her desk afterwards, but did not want to tell the dentist why, so said she had something in her eye.
She claimed the dentist leaned over and kissed her eye, the court heard that the dentist would say he hugged her but did not recall kissing her.
The nurse did not return to work after that day, which was less than two months after she had started. She claimed she had been "violated".
In evidence, Dr J Wellington, a US graduate said that in the type of dentistry the defendant practiced, it would be common practice to touch the sternum.
But Dr Declan Millet, of UCC and Cork University Hospital, said: "The procedure which was described would not be normal practice in my opinion."
And Professor Robert J McConnell, of the same school, said: "It is not part of any education programme I have been involved in in 30 years.
"That does not mean it does not go on."
The case continues.
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