In every case, the scenario was nearly identical.
A female patient, anywhere between ages 22 and 52, would go to the Community Health Center at 114 East Main St. in Clinton for a check up with physician Tory Westbrook.
After the nurse did an initial assessment, Westbrook would enter the office to address whatever the reason the patient was there for — a physical exam, sinus infection or back problem, to name a few.
But it was here where Clinton police said a series of sexual misconduct encounters took place against several women between late 2010 and 2011.
Westbrook would proceed to touch and caress each of these women in the area of their breast and nipples, in some cases while applying a stethoscope to check heart rates or during examinations for rashes and moles. The sexual touching typically had nothing to do with the reason for the visit in the first place, according to 10 police warrants.
All of the allegations are spelled out in 46 pages of court documents unsealed to the public Monday, following a two-week grace period from when Westbrook to face 24 counts of fourth- and second-degree sex assault.
The women in the case were often on state aid and would come to CHC because the center took their insurance, the warrants detailed. While sometimes they said their visits entailed no sexual contact, other times they found themselves in the office with Westbrook and no other nurse during the instances of the alleged touching, the warrants stated.
When police checked Westbrook's records of the women's visits, they found no information with regard to breast examinations.
Westbrook, a Glastonbury resident, remains free on a total $1.55 million bond and the state has since revoked his license.
All of the fourth-degree charges are misdemeanors punishable to up to a year in prison each. But the more severe second-degree sex assault charge stems from one instance when a 29-year-old woman came in for a pap smear and Westbrook penetrated her with his fingers multiple times during the examination, the woman told police.
The woman didn’t report the incident until months later, but she told police she didn’t think anyone would believe her over a doctor, the warrant stated.
Attorney Norm Pattis, Westbrook’s lawyer, reportedly wanted the warrants unsealed and he told The Courant the allegations have “created a sinister impression of a doctor with libidinal issues.”
“When these allegations are placed in context we will be able to show that Dr. Westbrook was behaving as a conscientious physician,” Pattis told Patch.
Pattis said the defense’s goal is to walk away from the charges because “we believe they’re actually incorrect.”
“If the state does not back off then we’ll have no choice but to go to trial,” he said.
Speaking to reporters following Westbrook’s last court hearing, Pattis said there were “odd similarities” between the Westbrook case and the high-profiled McMartin case of from the 1980s.
“If you look at what’s going on at CHC they have a third party there interviewing everyone in the shop, they’re threatening to fire employees who speak to us about this case,” Pattis told reporters. “That’s exactly how the investigation into McMartin went. When all was said and done, it turned out that these children had largely been given a script. I’m not going to contend that these adult women are children. I simply note the similarity and we’re trying to investigate that.”
In an email statement to Patch, CHC Spokesman Paul Mayer said the health center first notified police about the initial matter that resulted in their investigation.
“From that point forward law enforcement conducted an independent investigation that apparently has led to charges against Dr. Westbrook,” Mayer said. “Throughout this time Community Health Center, Inc. continues to make counseling available to our patients. CHC is dedicated to protecting the quality and safety of health care for all we serve.”
Westbrook is due back in court Tuesday for a hearing on the last charge he’s facing: illegally prescribing medication. Pattis filed a motion in court requesting a four-week extension of the unsealing of that drug warrant, which will be the focus of Tuesday’s hearing.
According to the motion, Pattis said his client is concerned about the prospect of “copy-cat” claims against Westbrook.
“Dr. Westbrook prescribed medications to hundreds of patients in his career,” Pattis wrote. “If each one were not to come forward claiming the prescriptions they were given involved illegal activities, the stream of warrants could be conceivably endless.”