Palo Alto VA’s Ex-Cardiology Chief Indicted for Sexual Battery

A federal grand jury has indicted the former cardiology chief at the Palo Alto VA hospital for allegedly sexually abusing a subordinate doctor.

According to a news release today from the California Department of Justice (DOJ), Dr. John Giacomini, a 71-year-old Atherton resident, stands accused of assaulting a doctor while both were on duty in December of 2017.

At the time, Giacomini was in charge of the VA’s Cardiology Department, a position he held for three decades, and also taught at Stanford University.

A memo summarizing an investigation into the charges and obtained last year by the Palo Alto Daily Post describes how at least two women complained about increasingly intimidating behavior by the doctor. It also states that Giacomini asserted that his interactions with his accusers were consensual.

Because the alleged battery took place on federal property, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs referred the case to the DOJ for prosecution.

Giacomini, who no longer works for the VA or Stanford, made his initial court appearance today by telephone and remains free after posting a $200,000 bond. His next court date, a status conference before United States Northern District Judge Beth L. Freeman is set for July 7.

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