Paul Harnetty

Paul Harnetty makes his initial appearance Feb. 17 in Natrona County Circuit Court in Natrona County Circuit Court. Harnetty, a former Casper OB-GYN, was arrested in Minnesota in January on allegations of sexually assaulting female patients while practicing in Casper.

File, Star-Tribune

A former Casper doctor charged with sexually assaulting six patients pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Paul Harnetty, 47, appeared in Natrona County District Court to enter pleas to 10 charges that stem from allegations he assaulted women during gynecological exams in 2014 and 2015.

The alleged victims say Harnetty, while working as an OB-GYN at Community Health Center of Central Wyoming, touched them during exams in ways that made them uncomfortable. That included touching their vaginal area without gloves and rubbing them in ways that didn’t seem to be in line with a medical exam, court documents allege.

The case appears likely to revolve around two questions: Was Harnetty acting within his duties as a physician, and did that role give him significant influence over the women?

Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins scheduled a five-day trial in the matter for June 26.

Prosecutors originally charged Harnetty with 12 counts of second- and third-degree sexual assault. A judge at his preliminary hearing dismissed two of them.

Harnetty is no longer licensed to practice medicine in Wyoming. He voluntarily relinquished his license in October after the state medical board began investigating him.

He stopped practicing at the Community Health Center in October 2015 and resigned his Wyoming Medical Center privileges a month later.

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Joshua Wolfson joined the Star-Tribune in 2007, covering crime and health before taking over the arts section in 2013. He also served as managing editor before being named editor in June 2017. He lives in Casper with his wife and their two kids.

Elise Schmelzer joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and interning at newspapers around the country. As features editor, she oversees arts and culture coverage and reports stories on a broad variety of topics.

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