Jurors in Fla. find dental assistant not guilty

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A jury in Florida found a dental assistant not guilty of sexually assaulting a consciously sedated 18-year-old patient undergoing third-molar surgery, according to a story published on January 13 in the Tampa Bay Times.

Edwin Alvis, now 41, worked at the Tampa Bay Institute of Oral Surgery and Dental Implants in Land O’Lakes in December 2019 when he was accused of sexually assaulting a female patient who had been given nitrous oxide.

During his trial, Alvis’ attorneys argued that the accusation was based false memories and hallucinations that were induced by sedation drugs. Also, it was noted that a study recently published revealed that sexual assault or fantasy hallucinations were unusual but serious occurrences associated with anesthetic drugs used in conscious sedation, according to the story.

The patient’s mother and one of her friends had previously said that Alvis did not allow her in the room with her daughter and told a female dental employee to leave when she went to the treatment room.

Alvis’ defense was that another person was always in the room with him and the patient unless they left to get something. Additionally, the dental room was doorless and many people came in out the room, making it unlikely for an assault to occur, according to the story.

Furthermore, DNA samples taken from the teen’s body matched Alvis, but his attorney said it would be reasonable for it to get there when he placed leads on her, according to a story.

 

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