Former Cornelius, North Carolina, dentist John Hall, who lost his dental license last August and accused of squirting his semen with a syringe into the mouths of female patients, was locked up last Thursday.
Hall, who was placed on probation in May after pleading guilty to seven counts of assault on a female, decided he would rather go to jail for four months than remain free on probation for five years.
The 44-year-old former dentist appeared before a judge Thursday and withdrew his consent to being placed on probation and asked that his 120-day suspended sentence be activated.
It’s unusual for defendants allowed to remain free on probation to change their minds and ask to be jailed. Sometimes, they do it because the probation is long; other times because the conditions of probation are restrictive.
Had Hall remained on probation, his activities would have been monitored for five years. Now, once he serves four months behind bars, he’ll no longer be under any court supervision.
During Thursday’s hearing, defense attorney George Laughrun told the judge that this is the first time in his 25 years of practicing law that a client placed on probation had asked to go to jail.
In an exclusive interview with the Observer just minutes before being led from the courtroom to jail, Hall said spending four months behind bars would allow him and his family to start a new life quicker.
“I want to get this behind me so my family can move forward,” Hall said. “My wife and my children are the most important things in my life.”
Hall again denied any wrongdoing. “I didn’t do what I was accused of doing,” he said.
In the meantime Hall is being sued by a former patient to whom he accusedly injected the semen.
The N.C. Board of Dental Examiners revoked Hall’s license in August after six former patients testified that the dentist made them swallow what they now believe was his semen.
The accusations against Hall became public in November 2003 after several employees, suspicious of Hall’s behavior, collected five syringes from his office and asked a veterinarian to test the contents. It turned out to be semen.
Police later searched Hall’s office and found more syringes containing similar material. It was Hall’s semen, DNA tests revealed. Saliva was found on three of the syringes, prosecutors said.
Hall, testifying before the dental board, denied injecting sperm into patients’ mouths. He said he was collecting semen in syringes because he was tracking the side effects of Propecia, a hair-growth drug with potential side effects of low sperm count and diminished semen.
Hall said he collected his semen after hours in an office bathroom because he didn’t want to do it at home. He said he planned to take the vials to his doctor.
A Mecklenburg grand jury indicted Hall in March, charging him with seven counts of misdemeanor assault on a female. He was accused of assaulting six of his female patients — one of them twice.
When Hall pleaded guilty in May, the judge placed him on probation for five years. Hall also was ordered to spend three months on house arrest, perform 120 hours of community service and participate in a program for sexual abusers.
Thursday’s hearing lasted just five minutes. Superior Court Judge Karl Adkins imposed the 120-day sentence and then ordered that Hall be taken into custody.
We can only hope he receives the appropriuate counselingand /or treatment while behind bars but it is doubtful.
Was he not, due to the nature of his crimes, considered a convicted sex offender with the requisite notification and reporting requirements?