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Scranton doctor found not guilty on 1 charge, jury deadlocked on another

The jury found Dr. Joel Laury not guilty on the charge of indecent assault, but could not come to an agreement on the charge of indecent exposure.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Dr. Laury remained silent as he walked out of the Lackawanna County Courthouse after a jury found him not guilty of sexually assaulting two female job shadows at his Scranton medical practice.

In 2018, the women claimed Dr. Laury inappropriately touched them while teaching them how to conduct physical examinations. 

He insists it was purely educational, not sexual.

They also accused the doctor of exposing himself to them during one of those exams. 

The jurors could not come to a decision on that offense, which means it's up to the District Attorney to decide if he wants to pursue the charge further. 

"This is a man who's a doctor, in a teaching moment, and it wasn't his intent to hurt them," said Paul Walker, Dr. Laury's attorney.

During the trial, Walker said that these allegations should have gone before a medical disciplinary board, not a jury in a criminal court. 

Walker says the women never expressed discomfort, and the doctor believed they were enthusiastic about learning how to do the exams. 

On the stand, Dr. Laury insisted the exams were simply a teaching moment for the young women, and that there was nothing sexual about what happened. He admitted he may have been insensitive, and apologized. 

The prosecution argued that just because the exams were routine for the doctor, for the college-aged women, it was uncomfortable and traumatizing. 

The prosecution also said the doctor only conducted exams that required the women to get undressed and be touched, in order to fulfill his sexual desires. 

Dr. Laury's attorney says there was no evidence of sexual gratification. 

"The offense on which they were hung, was the one about the exposure, so it's not only the insensitivity, but I think it's - was there an issue of sexual gratification? He conducted exams, clearly, in his mind, it wasn't for intent for some type of sexual gratification. So I think that's what they understood," said Paul Walker, Dr. Laury's attorney.

"He's dying to get back into his practice, and we're hoping that this is a pathway for him to get back into his practice," said Walker. "There was a lot of time spent on this case and they were misdemeanor charges. There was a hell of a lot of effort spent on both sides on misdemeanor charges. But the consequences of his license were real."

The District Attorney can now decide if he wants to re-try the case or drop it.

Dr. Laury is also accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old female patient. 

That case will be tried separately.