A Lodi dentist accused of groping his female patients is now facing a possible lawsuit by a woman seeking more than $100,000 in damages. A second woman talked to an attorney Thursday and is also planning to sue.
Ahmed Bakr, 32, is charged with six misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. However, Lodi Police Detective Reba Ridino, who is still investigating the case, said Thursday that there could be at least 10 alleged victims.
An attorney representing one of the women served a notice of intent to sue last Friday to Bakr and Western Dental, the 320 S. Cherokee Lane office where he had been employed.
Attorney Kristi Fluetsch declined to identify her client, saying only that she was a young woman who is older than 18. In the claim, she accuses Bakr of "assault and battery, sexual assault," as well as "negligent treatment."
The treatment allegedly caused "extreme pain and mental suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity" in excess of $100,000, Fluetsch wrote in notice of intent to file a lawsuit.
Under state civil codes, a plaintiff must give a health provider 90 days' notice before starting legal action. Fluetsch said that if the case is not settled by that point, she will sue.
Bakr, who held in the San Joaquin County Jail on $500,000 bail, declined an interview request Thursday from the News-Sentinel. His attorney representing him in the criminal matter, Gregory Davenport, did not return a message.
An Orange County-based spokeswoman for Western Dental declined to comment on the possible lawsuit, but did say that Bakr is no longer employed with the company.
"They're still liable for what happened during the course of employment," Fluetsch said Thursday. "The allegations that I'll be making include negligent supervision and training. Someone's got to look out for the public."
On Thursday, another alleged victim - also an unidentified young woman - met with attorney Jeff Silvia, who is still looking into the matter.
"We're certainly going to file, and it will be soon," he said.
Bakr was arrested Oct. 1, then released from the city jail after posting bail that day. Then his bail bond agent arrested him Saturday after learning that Bakr was allegedly planning to leave for his native Egypt.
Bakr was arraigned in Lodi court Tuesday on six misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Because of the alleged flight risk, a judge set bail at $500,000, well above the normal amount for misdemeanor charges. Bakr is scheduled to return to court Wednesday to ask that his bail be reviewed.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Brian Short, who filed the charges, said he could not comment on whether any additional charges would be added.
Contact reporter Layla Bohm at firstname.lastname@example.org.