State prosecutors called their final witness to the stand Thursday afternoon in the fourth of what's expected to be a two-week trial against a Conway doctor accused of sexually assaulting several of his former patients.
"I knew there was stuff going on there that I wasn't comfortable with and I did not want to be a part of it," one of Dr. Robert Rook's former employees said of why she quit working at this office.
Robert Rook, 62, faces 11 counts of second-degree sexual assault and 10 counts of third-degree sexual assault following several allegations from patients who say he fondled them during breast and pelvic exams they never asked for. Rook has been a family care doctor in Conway for about 30 years.
Among those who testified against Rook thus far include two detectives who worked the case against him, three former employees and nine victims.
One of Rook's former employees who testified against him said she and other employees were aware Rook was going into exam rooms alone with female patients, noting she and the other employees were uncomfortable that he would also lock the door behind him when entering rooms with female patients.
Thursday's witness said this wasn't something she considered normal.
At one point, she and a coworker confronted Rook about these accusations and they way they felt about his actions, she said.
Special Prosecuting Attorney Ashley Bowen asked Rook's former employee to elaborate on a time frame for when she and others among Rook's staff confronted him about entering women's rooms alone when jurors, prosecutors, the defense counsel and Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. learned Rook was confronted "around Christmas of 2015."
"He denied everything ... and nothing changed," she said, noting Rook never stopped these odd tendencies and she continued to feel uncomfortable working in his office.
The woman testified that she quit her job at Rook's office in March 2016 and that she now works at a Vilonia clinic, noting no one at her current employer's office locks the door behind them and they do not enter females' rooms alone.
Rook's trial is expected to last up to two weeks. As the first week draws to an end, the defense counsel will begin calling witnesses to the stand Friday morning as Rook maintains his innocence.
The sexual assault trial against the long-time Conway doctor resumes at 9 a.m. Friday in Faulkner County Circuit Court.