California dentist convicted of patient assault

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Updated: 4/17/2014 4:11 pm

MERCED, Calif. (AP) — A Central Valley dentist accused of groping four female patients while they were sedated is facing three years in prison after pleading no contest to sexual battery charges.

Sang Hyuk Park entered the plea on Wednesday in Merced County Superior Court just as jury selection was set to begin. Prosecutors tell the Merced Sun-Star the plea was part of a deal that requires Park to register as a sex offender in addition to serving three years in prison.

Investigators say Park sedated the women at his Merced office, found an excuse to dismiss his assistants from the room and then committed the assaults. The women, who ranged in age from late teens to late 20s, were groped between June 2011 and November 2012.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 2.

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