Doctor acquitted of sex assault drops 4 defendants from suit

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A Beaver County doctor acquitted last month of charges that he sexually assaulted his patients in his Bridgewater office has agreed to drop three of his accusers and a county detective as defendants in a federal suit he filed shortly after the acquittal.

But his case will proceed against the chief of police in Bridgewater, Doug Adams, whom the doctor accuses of violating his civil rights by defaming him in media reports after the charges were filed.

Robert Knapp, 57, an endocrinologist, was acquitted at trial in October of all criminal charges in connection with complaints brought by eight female patients who said he fondled them and tried to kiss them in his office.

A week later, he and his wife, Diane, filed suit in U.S. District Court against Chief Adams, three of the eight women and a county detective, Lt. Kim Clements, whom the plaintiffs accused of conspiring against the doctor so the women could file civil suits seeking money for damages.

Last week, Dr. Knapp agreed to drop Lt. Clements and the women from the suit, leaving Chief Adams as the sole defendant.

The amended complaint says Chief Adams deprived Dr. Knapp of his civil rights by labeling him a "predator" in reports in the Beaver County Times and on WPXI-TV.

Dr. Knapp's suit says the criminal case cost him his medical license, his reputation and his income.

The Post-Gazette does not name accusers in sexual assault cases.


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