VALPARAISO | Bond was set at $25,000 Friday for Dr. Jose Agusti on charges he sexually assaulted a female patient in his Valparaiso office.
Agusti could face up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the charge of criminal deviate behavior. He also faces two counts of sexual battery, which carry penalties of up to three years in jail and a $10,000 fine each. Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek told Porter County Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford she expects additional investigation of other potential victims.
Agusti appeared via video conference at his initial hearing. He said he expects Larry Rogers to be his lawyer and told Bradford he needs to be free on bond so he can work and support his wife and infant son. Bradford entered a not guilty plea as required by law on Agusti's behalf and set a pretrial conference date of June 24 to set a trial date.
Asked by Bradford if the Chicago address listed for him in the charges was accurate, Agusti said he has lived in Ogden Dunes for the past seven years.
The charges allege when the female patient, a disabled veteran, came to Agusti's office in July, he hugged her while crying and telling her his wife was leaving the area and taking their children. During a Sept. 17 appointment, as he entered the exam room, he hugged her and touched her buttocks, she said.
As she directed him to look at her knee, he allegedly pulled her onto his lap, kissed her on the mouth and asked if she had any boyfriends. He then exposed one of her breasts, which she quickly covered while telling him no. She reported he then unzipped her pants and touched her while exposing himself and trying to force her to touch him.
He reportedly asked her repeatedly, "You're not going to say anything, right?" and then forced her to begin performing a sex act on him before a knock on the door stopped him. She reported the assault to police, who equipped her with audio and visual equipment when she returned to Agusti's office Oct. 15.
The footage of that visit shows Agusti tapping his lap and asking the victim, "Do you want to play with me?" according to court records. He also hugged her and groped her back, and kissing can be heard, police said.
Afterward, Agusti is heard saying he did not know when they could get together because his mother was in town, and he told her "stay away from the dirty boys." He wrote her prescriptions for painkillers although no examination ever took place.