A jury has acquitted on all counts a Sherman Oaks plastic surgeon who city prosecutors alleged had clandestinely videotaped female patients after they had undressed for medical examinations, officials said Monday.
Dr. Lance Everett Wyatt, who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery, faced six misdemeanor counts related to what the city attorney's office characterized as illegal video recordings and "sexual battery and battery."
But attorney Kevin McKesson, working with investigator Scott Ross, said his client was the victim of a misunderstanding compounded by an incomplete investigation by Los Angeles Police Department detectives and investigators with the state medical board.
Wyatt testified in his own defense for nine days, taking jurors through every aspect of the allegations and refuting them, McKesson said.
The doctor, 46, testified that video of one of patients had inadvertently started filming after he had a moved a camera in his examination room.
Another woman who alleged wrongdoing was videotaped with her knowledge and consent, McKesson said.
Authorities charged that Wyatt's examinations went on for too long, thus making a battery, McKesson said. But the defense also called as an expert witness a plastic surgeon of 40 years from Cedars-Sinai Medical center who told jurors that Wyatt had done everything properly during his examinations.
"The true beneficiary of these not-guilty verdicts is the public," McKesson said. "Dr. Wyatt was prosecuted for spending too much time with his patients and being too careful to ensure that their recovery was without incident."
If Wyatt had been convicted, he would have faced a maximum sentence of two years in county jail and lifetime registration as a sex offender.