White Oak physician scheduled for court
A new complaint of indecent assault and harassment charges was filed last month against a suspended Fox Chapel physician who is scheduled for a trial on Thursday on other counts filed last year.
While jury selection is scheduled on Thursday in the case of Dr. Raja Chakrapani, 60, a hearing is slated on May 29 in White Oak on charges filed on April 24.
Chakrapani once stood accused of eight counts of indecent assault and four of harassment, filed by two patients at his White Oak office and one apiece at Swissvale and West Mifflin offices.
Some of the charges were filed last July, others in September. The allegations stemmed from reported incidents dating back to August 2012.
Two cases covering four counts of indecent assault and two of harassment were held for trial on Sept. 30 by White Oak Magisterial District Judge Thomas G. Miller Jr.
Miller dismissed a third case while an Allegheny County assistant district attorney withdrew a fourth case.
Trial originally was scheduled in the two surviving cases on March 17 before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Philip A. Ignelzi, but a postponement was granted at the prosecution's request.
“We requested the postponement to have additional time to put the case together,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.
On April 14 Chakrapani's attorney Patrick Thomassey filed a motion with Ignelzi to dismiss charges in one of the cases. The prosecution filed a “nolle prosequi” motion in that case on April 28.
“Our office (declined to prosecute) one set of charges because they were past the statute of limitations,” Manko said.
Chakrapani's license was suspended by the State Board of Medicine after the first charges were filed. Thomassey has been confident that his client will be exonerated and his license reinstated.
The Monroeville-based defense attorney said some accusers filed civil suits against Chakrapani and that others were willing to testify about his client's character.
Chakrapani originally needed to produce a $25,000 bond to be released from Allegheny County Jail, but that was reduced later to nonmonetary bond, which remains the case pending his slated court dates.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.