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.

The trial for the former Casper gynecologist charged with sexually assaulting multiple patients was postponed Friday at the request of the doctor’s attorney.

Paul Harnetty’s trial — previously scheduled to begin on June 26 — will now be held about 60 days later. An exact date will be set at a later time.

After resolving a slew of motions regarding what evidence and testimony was admissible at trial, Paul Harnetty’s attorney asked Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins to postpone the trial. Don Fuller said there was an “intense” amount of evidence still arriving in his office that he needs to review, especially since he just took over the case from a former associate, John Miner, last week.

Fuller also said that the two private investigators he hired to find information related to the case are still working. One investigator is currently traveling to Georgia, where Harnetty used to work, and the other is traveling to New York to meet with the first Casper police detective on the case, who later moved away mid-investigation.

“I’ve been arguing in front of you for 20 years, and you’ve never seen me less prepared,” Fuller told Sullins. He emphasized the seriousness of the charges involved and said it would only be fair to his client to allow him more time to prepare for trial.

Assistant District Attorney Brett Johnson said he understood the defense’s need for more time.

“I couldn’t oppose this motion in good faith,” he said.

Sullins granted the request, noting that changing defense attorneys creates challenges.

Harnetty, 47, faces 10 felony charges alleging he sexually assaulted six women during gynecological exams at Community Health Center of Central Wyoming in 2014 and 2015.

The women told police that Harnetty touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable and did not seem to be part of a standard exam.

Harnetty stopped practicing at Community Health Center in October 2015 and is no longer licensed to practice medicine in Wyoming after voluntarily relinquishing his license.

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Follow crime and courts reporter Elise Schmelzer on Twitter @eliseschmelzer


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