Unbelievable news. I had heard rumors about this and hoped it wasn’t true, but apparently it is:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Huntersville optometrist will serve 15 days in jail and must register as a sex offender after pleading guilty to one count of sexual battery.
Dr. Christopher Reynolds, 50, was charged after a patient of the Northcross Eye Associates came forward and said he grabbed her breast and fondled himself during a routine eye exam in June. Police recorded a phone conversation between her and Reynolds, in which he admitted to the crime, prosecutors said.
Twenty-seven other women then made similar accusations and investigators filed four additional charges, but four of the sexual battery charges were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea.
The five women whose allegations led to charges spoke in court on Friday after Reynoldsâ€™ attorney entered his plea. Reynolds wouldnâ€™t even look at them as they spoke to him and the judge, saying he groped them and they believe he fondled himself during their eye exams.
â€œYou betrayed and jeopardized your profession,â€ one woman said.
The judge then sentenced Reynolds to 15 days in jail with a 60-day suspended sentence. He must also pay a $5,000 fine and heâ€™ll be on probation for three years, in addition to registering as a sex offender. The judge told Reynolds to continue with counseling for sexual addiction.
Reynolds had no prior criminal record.
The women told Eyewitness News as they left the courthouse that they believe the punishment is not enough.
Reynolds no longer works for Northcross Eye Associates. Due to the conviction, he faces a formal disciplinary hearing before the state optometry board where his license could be suspended or revoked.
It makes me sick to read about it. I had been putting off a visit to the eye doctor for several months. They even called me once and asked if I’d like to schedule an appointment, carefully stating that his wife (a fellow optometrist and partner in the practice) would be handling the patients.
Now apparently the practice has been sold to a new doctor.
At the time I heard the rumors, I was struggling with what to do. If the accusations were false, then it would have been wrong to abandon his practice.
There was one thing they used to do that I always thought was a little creepy. Whenever you came for a checkup, they’d automatically schedule you for your next years’ exam. That’s not so bad, you might think — isn’t that what dentists do all the time? The difference is, with dentists, they actually ask you when you’d prefer to come in. This place just handed you the appointment card with the time already slotted in. It was up to you to cancel or change the date if it wasn’t convenient.
I guess the moral of the story is if someone does something that seems creepy, it might just be because they are a creep.