Merced dentist sentenced to 3 years in sexual assault case

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Merced dentist, who was accused of sexually assaulting four victims while they were under anesthesia, apologized on Friday and said he is getting the help he needs to be rehabilitated.

Dr. Sang Park had hoped to receive probation, but the judge said he felt the crimes warranted three years in prison. Park sobbed when he addressed the court on Friday morning, begging for mercy. He said he's lost his license, his practice and everything he owned. He also said he's brought disgrace and humiliation to his family and ruined their lives. As terms of his sentence, he must register as a sex offender, but that's exactly what his victim's say he deserves.

"All my hard work, and my family name, I ruined it," said Park.

Park could hardly compose himself. He wiped away tears and was shaking as he told the judge he is taking accountability for his terrible lapse in judgment and everyone he has hurt.

"I am truly sorry. I regret my conduct every single day. I have thought about it every day, prayed about it every day," said Park.

None of his four victims showed up to court. The deputy district attorney said the women are courageous in coming forward but didn't want to relive this any longer.

One of the victims wrote a letter that was read by a victim's advocate. "How would you feel if someone did this to your loved ones? You were convinced no one would remember what you did to them, but you were obviously wrong."

Several of the women worked for Park at the time the crimes took place. The prosecutor said he used his position to abuse his power and take advantage of their trust.

"One of the things I talked about was that they were grateful, on the one hand to Mr. Park for giving them their first job, but they were horrified by what he did," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Robert Carroll.

Tom Johnson, Park's attorney, said his client has no job and for now, no future because of his actions.

"I know that this has reached deeply into his life and his family's life," said Johnson. "There's a tremendous amount of humiliation and shame, and that is something that he will carry for the rest of his life, and that's a terrible consequence."

Park is married with two children. His wife attended the sentencing on Friday and cried most of the time. In the end, he was led away in handcuffs to serve his time in prison.

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