A sexual assault trial against a Conway doctor accused of inappropriately touching several patients continued Tuesday as the first patient to report his alleged abuse testified against him.
The 62-year-old Conway doctor sat in a dark colored suit next to his attorneys, Patrick Benca and John Kennedy, as a 30-year-old woman looked to the jury and said Dr. Robert Rook violated her on Oct. 12, 2015.
Rook, who faces 11 counts of second-degree sexual assault and 10 counts of third-degree sexual assault, maintains his innocence, despite the number of women who say he inappropriately touched them.
Altogether, 10 women are scheduled to testify against Rook throughout the duration of his two-week trial.
"Dr. Rook did not do any of this ... he is not guilty. Listen to the evidence, pay attention to everything. He didn't do any of this," Benca said Tuesday of the allegations against Rook.
Benca said it troubled him that this case has landed before a jury without there being any physical evidence against Rook.
"There's no evidence other than [the accusers'] statements and his statements," he said. "That's concerning. Now, it's his word against theirs."
Special prosecuting attorney Ashley Bowen asked the 30-year-old victim who began using Rook as her primary care doctor in September 2013 to recall the events that transpired on the day in question.
The Conway resident said she wanted Rook to check and see if she had a vitamin deficiency and also wanted to discuss concerns she had with her medications at the time.
She said she had grown to trust Rook over the two years he worked as her primary care doctor but that on Oct. 12, 2015, he broke that trust. The woman testified before the jury and other court officials that Rook gave hear an "uncomfortable" breast exam that she never asked for. Along with the fact that she never asked for a breast exam, the alleged victim said this breast exam was unlike any she'd had in the past, noting it was more invasive.
"It just felt like he was bouncing my breasts," she said, adding that at some point during this encounter Rook "said something to get my eye contact [and that] he appeared to be enjoying what he was doing."
As the woman testified Monday, she was also questioned about her medications and how often she took the Klonopin and Xanax that Rook prescribed her.
Benca said he wanted to know why she didn't report the alleged abuse on the day in question and why she was unable to answer questions regarding the days or details of previous visits to Rook's office.
"I was in shock. A doctor is supposed to be helping you. I was in denial about what was happening to me," the woman testified about why she waited three days to report the incident to authorities.
The woman also said she decided to contact authorities after Rook allegedly called her from a number non-affiliated with Conway Family Practice Clinic, where he works. While this number was initially alarming to the victim, Benca later pointed out that authorities learned the number was a fact line tied to the clinic.
Rook's trial is set to reconvene at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Faulkner County Circuit Court.