The owner of a Connecticut pet hospital is accused of touching an employee inappropriately.
Hubert Hopkinson, who is in his 80s, is accused of putting his hands on a female worker more than once in a West Hartford pet hospital.
Eyewitness News was the only television station in court when Hopkinson faced a judge on Thursday.
Hopkinson owns the Connecticut Veterinary Center on Oakwood Avenue. He said the working space there is too tight and bumping into people is inevitable.
The alleged victim said his touching was intentional. Police investigated the incidents, but they felt there was enough evidence when a client stepped forward and spoke out.Hopkinson slowly left Hartford Superior Court on Thursday where towards the end of his career, the 83-year-old veterinarian was facing sexual assault allegations.“In over 60 years, there's never been an allegation before of anything like this,” Hopkinson's attorney Ray Hassett said.
According to court documents, an employee at the Connecticut Veterinary Center said she's documented the occasions where Hopkinson allegedly touched her inappropriately. Court documents obtained by Eyewitness News show the victim wrote three letters to managers, complaining about the doctor touching her buttocks and "other areas."
Documents show it was so evident, clients made remarks such as "wow, he really just grabbed your butt."Documents also said the victim requested to switch doctors. The hospital says that opportunity was granted, but the victim didn't take them up on it.
The final straw came at the beginning of the year when Hopkinson allegedly touched the victim's rear. She left in tears and went straight to police. While there, Hopkinson called and left a voicemail."Hey sunshine, any contact today was strictly coincidental, strictly an accident, we're working like hell, what the hell is the matter with you? Call me, bye,” the alleged voicemail left by Hopkinson state.“People do inadvertently bump into each other,” Hassett said. “With that being said, there was never any intent by my client to have any adverse contact with anybody.”Hassett said this was a big misunderstanding, but police spoke to a client who allegedly witnessed one act."With his right hand, he reached over and tapped her in the back side. I asked her in Spanish if that was appropriate. She responded it wasn't the first time. I told her she should say something,” the client alleged told police, according to court documents.That information was enough for an arrest warrant. The attorney for the doctor said it's one this doctor will fight.“We're going to present our case in court and I do believe that ultimately the facts will not substantiate the allegations,” Hassett said.
Eyewitness News did reach out to the victim. Her family said because this is an ongoing case, they did not want to comment.
As for the doctor, Hassett said he's still practicing pet medicine at the Connecticut Veterinary Center because his case was continued on Thursday.
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