Trial date set in case of Merced dentist accused of sexual abuse

A Jan. 7 trial date has been set in the case of a Merced dentist accused of drugging and sexually abusing some of his patients.

Sang Hyuk Park faces six sexual-abuse counts and is accused of exposing himself to the women and touching them inappropriately while they were under sedation at his former Park Avenue office in Merced.

Park, 43, has pleaded not guilty. His attorney, Thomas Johnson, said his client steadfastly denies the allegations.

The trial is scheduled to be held in Judge Donald Proietti’s courtroom. Chief Deputy District Attorney Rob Carroll is prosecuting the case.

During a preliminary hearing in February, police testified the women reported similar stories of being sedated by Park and touched inappropriately. Some of the women said the incidents dated back to 2011 but that they didn’t come forward because they felt embarrassed and thought no one would believe them. Police said some of the women were employed by Park and continued working for him after the incidents they later reported as abuse.

An administrative law judge temporarily suspended Park’s dental license last year.

Park no longer works as a dentist in Merced and remains free on bail.