No Jury finding on sex felony charges
BY ANN GIVENS
8:44 PM EDT, April 28, 2009
A Nassau jury convicted a Winthrop-University Hospital medical technician of fondling a patient but could not decide whether he was guilty of having oral sex with that man or two others.
After deliberating for three full days, the jury found Ronald Caparella, 45, of Glen Oaks, guilty of a misdemeanor, forcible touching, but could not reach a unanimous verdict Tuesday on three felony charges against Caparella, including third-degree criminal sex act.
Prosecutors and Caparella's defense lawyer, Todd Greenberg of Forest Hills, are due back in court May 7 to discuss how to proceed with the case.
Prosecutor Jamie Johnson said Caparella, a sonogram technician at a thoracic and cardiovascular office run by Winthrop in Mineola, attempted to have oral sex with male patients three times - twice in 2004 and once in 2007. Johnson said that because Caparella is a medical professional, he could not legally have sex with patients, even if they consented.
The three patients who testified against Caparella all said they did not consent to have sex with Caparella, although in his closing argument, Greenberg questioned why they had not protested more after they said Caparella
made advances on them.
Greenberg said that Caparella was not a medical professional and did not diagnose or treat patients - only took photographs of them for the doctors to use.
In the end, it was the question of whether Caparella was a medical professional that jurors said they could not agree on, asking to have the legal definition of medical professional read back to them several times during their deliberations.