FORT LAUDERDALE — Jerry Ciocon, 62, a Weston doctor, was sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenager during a medical procedure.
The case involves a 19-year-old Davie woman, who called Ciocon, a family friend, to come to her home to remove a vaginal cyst on August 3, 2014. It is unclear why the doctor would consent to a surgical procedure outside of a clinic, but anyway. When he arrived, he followed the woman to her bedroom, where she removed her clothing for the good doctor to examine her. At this point, he began performing oral sex on her.
During sentencing on Friday, Broward Circuit Judge Dennis Bailey said:
“There are very few times when a woman will take her clothes off for a man. One is a consensual sexual encounter. And the other is for a medical examination. The violation of trust in her treating physician is remarkable.” To say the least.
Ciocon arrived in court surrounded by family and friends, as well as Coral Springs Mayor Walter G. “Skip” Campbell, who asked the judge for leniency.
“You’ve got to look at that person and the community,” he said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, I believe, is that person going to be someone who is going out and do this again.”
Though he was facing 15 years for sexual battery, Ciocon received only 64.5 months. He was also allowed to post a $100,000 bond and remain under house arrest while he awaits his appeal hearing.
According to prosecutor Patyl Oflazian, when the victim removed her clothes, it was not an invitation to have sex.
“This was no misunderstanding or miscommunication,” she said.
As soon as the doctor began abusing the victim, she put the brakes on him. She also recorded a telephone call with him in which he apologized.
“Saying ‘I’m sorry’ in a phone call that the state presented as evidence in a trial does not qualify as remorse,” Oflazian said.
Sex offenders and rapists should make a mental note of that one.
“This was a person that was a physician, a family friend, a trusted person that the victim really needed at the moment to treat her medically, and he took advantage of her. He committed a crime of opportunity,” she added. “She called him because she knew him, she trusted him and he had treated her before. He knew that she was in a medical dire circumstance.”
The judge agreed with the prosecutor. “It was remarkably cold and apathetic,” he said. “It was the type of apology you would make if you were five minutes late for a meeting.”
The defense portrayed the incident as isolated and requested leniency.
Defense lawyer Michael Gottlieb contended that Ciocon misinterpreted the victim’s body language.
“There were no threats,” Gottlieb said. “He was performing a medical procedure and, from his perspective, she became sexually aroused. He misread her body language.”
The judge’s ruling was the most lenient sentence he could impose according to sentencing guidelines.
“The family is ecstatic that Dr. Ciocon will be coming home very soon,” said defense attorney Brian Bieber. “It is our position that Dr. Ciocon never committed a crime under Florida law. We do believe he will be vindicated in the end.”
If Ciocon does not win his appeal, he will face a full five years of imprisonment, as well as five years of probation as a sex offender.