AUSTIN (KXAN) — The trial of a former child psychiatrist accused of sexually assaulting his patients could soon come to a close.
A verdict is expected as early as Wednesday, after the jury heard three full weeks of testimony in the case.
The closing arguments wrapped up Tuesday afternoon in Travis County for the trial of 64-year-old Dr. Charles Fischer. He faces five felonies, including two child sexual assault charges.
Fischer was fired from the Austin State Hospital in 2011 when the accusations surfaced. His attorneys deny the allegations, saying many of Fischer’s patients suffered from “sexual identity issues,” which made him a target.
“These kids were struggling with their own sexuality. They were struggling with the fact that they were having gay experiences or had gay experiences,” said Gerry Morris, one of Fischer’s defense attorneys, during closing arguments.
Prosecutors argue Fischer took advantage of his young, sick patients and his authority over them as their psychiatrist, to prey on the most vulnerable of victims.
“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.
“Simply because of their mental illness, their credibility is questioned. He [Fischer] was in a position of trust and he knew what he was doing,” added Monica Flores, an assistant district attorney for Travis County, during closing arguments Tuesday.
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 victim, 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.
The defendant has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.