, Salem, MA

March 14, 2013

Boxford dentist gets 1 year for groping patient


---- — BOXFORD — An oral surgeon from Boxford will serve a year in jail after being found guilty late Tuesday of groping a teenage patient during a wisdom tooth extraction in Lynn 21/2 years ago.

Dr. George Hatzgiannis, 41, was found guilty by a Peabody District Court jury of one count of indecent assault and battery, following a one-day trial, according to Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

Judge Matthew Nestor sentenced Hatzgiannis to serve one year of a 21/2-year jail term, with the balance of the sentence suspended for 21/2 years. During that time, Hatzgiannis will be on supervised probation, with conditions that include registering as a sex offender and undergoing a mental health evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary.

Hatzgiannis ran a practice on Exchange Street in Lynn, where in November 2010, he was pulling wisdom teeth from a 16-year-old girl. While she was under sedation, Hatzgiannis fondled her breast, an act witnessed by an employee who later reported what had taken place. Hatzgiannis was arrested last year.

His attorney, Paul Cirel, declined to comment on the outcome of the case but said Hatzgiannis “takes great heart” in the continuing support of his family and friends.

Hatzgiannis agreed to voluntarily give up his license to practice dentistry while the charge was pending.

Monahan said the state Board of Registration in Dentistry is expected to take further action now that there has been a conviction.