Abhishek Shah, psychiatry resident, takes plea deal, gets probation
December 2, 2013
HARTFORD — A psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting a woman in West Hartford a year ago was sentenced to probation Monday after he pleaded no contest to reduced charges.
Abhishek Shah, 32, who was a second-year general psychiatry resident at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington at the time, was sentenced in Superior Court to two years of probation.
He pleaded no contest to charges of third-degree assault and second-degree unlawful restraint, both misdemeanors, minutes before his sentencing. His original charges were first-degree sexual assault, second-degree unlawful restraint, third-degree assault and disorderly conduct.
The state agreed to the plea deal after learning that the complainant had been "less than truthful" about events that preceded the alleged crime, prosecutor Donna Mambrino said.
Mambrino told the court that the woman had met Shah on a website called PlentyofFish.com. He invited her to his apartment and on Dec. 5, he held her down in an effort to get her to perform oral sex on him, the prosecutor said. The woman also told police he had slapped her, she said.
The state later learned that over a four-day period before that day, 254 text messages went back and forth between the two, and in some pictures that the woman sent to Shah, she was partially undressed, Mambrino said.
When Mambrino asked the woman about the text messages, "she was less than truthful," the prosecutor said.
Shah's lawyer, Hubert Santos, said the Dec. 5, 2012 incident was consensual.
"He never slapped her. He never restrained her," Santos said. He said Shah is "soon to be a psychiatrist" — although Mambrino said he gave up his license to practice in Connecticut.
Source: Christien Dempsey, "Psychiatrist Pleads No Contest To Unlawful Restraint," The Hartford Courant, December 2, 2013.
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