CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County jury on Friday convicted a Charleston doctor of one count of first degree sexual abuse, but acquitted him on two more serious charges of sexual assault.

Dr. Steven Matulis, a gastroenterologist, was on trial this week in Charleston after he was accused of inappropriately touching patients while they were sedated under anesthesia. During the week long trial 26 witnesses testified about the activity, including four women who were victims.

Matulis’ attorney told the jury there was no indication of his client sought sexual gratification in the activity and indicated staffers during the procedures who questioned the exams were unfamiliar with the medical procedures he was performing.

The jury spent nearly six hours sequestered working through the charges. They twice emerged and appeared deadlocked at one point before they were admonished to return to their work and deliberate further. Their verdict came late Friday.

Matulis, with the conviction, will face one to five years in prison.

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