NH dentist accused of hitting 8-year-old patient
SALEM, N.H. (WHDH) -- A Salem, New Hampshire dentist has turned himself in after being accused of hitting an 8-year-old patient during an appointment.
John Bassett, a 53-year-old oral surgeon, has been charged with simple assault. Investigators say the boy’s mother came to them in May with pictures of her son’s back. They say the pictures show a large, red welt in the shape of a hand.
Police say the 8-year-old was touching glass jars on a counter in the doctor’s office. They say Dr. Bassett slapped the child on his back with an open hand.
According to the New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners, Dr. Bassett has been disciplined twice; in 2006 and 2011.
Dr. Bassett has practiced in Salem, New Hampshire since 1980.
Authorities say the investigation took several months because there were a number of witnesses who needed to be interviewed.
“He walked over to a display which was several glass jars, took one of the glass jars off a cabinet -- or off the countertop -- opened it, and started to pull out some gauze. At that point, the alleged assault took place where he was assaulted in the back, and told, ‘we don’t do that here.’ At that point the mother obviously observed it and left the area,” said Sgt. Joel Dolan, Salem NH Police Department.
Authorities say there have been similar complaints in the last year, but charges weren’t filed in those cases.