Closing arguments expected for doctor accused of molesting patients

Dr. Charles Fischer accused of molesting boys
Dr. Charles Fischer accused of molesting boys

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Closing arguments are expected Tuesday for the trial of a former Austin State Hospital psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting his patients.

Dr. Charles Fischer, 64, did not take the stand Monday in his own defense. He was indicted on multiple charges of sexual assault and indecency with a child in 2012.

Fischer now faces five felonies, including two child sexual assault charges. He was fired from the hospital in 2011 when the allegations surfaced.

“This picture emerges of a doctor who takes the most vulnerable children, handpicks them, and molests them over a period of years,” said Mary Farrington, a Travis Co. prosecutor, during opening statements.

Prosecutors argue Dr. Fischer used his authority over his young male patients to take advantage of them. His attorneys deny the charges, saying many of Fischer’s patients suffered from “sexual identity issues,” which made him a target.

As many as 11 accusers were identified to possibly testify against the ex-psychiatrist. The first of the victims was the only witness to take the stand on Oct. 25. The witness, now 29 years old, testified that when he was 16, Dr. Fischer molested him on various occasions during therapy sessions in his office at the hospital.

Prosecutors said, like this witness, the alleged victims were being treated by Fischer at the Austin State Hospital, that Fischer took them into his office for therapy, would close his office door, and molest them.

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