An Indiana woman who accused her colleague of sexual assault has agreed to dismiss her case while publicly apologizing and paying the man an undisclosed sum.
The Courier & Press reported that Rebecca Blair left her job at Deaconess Hospital as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist claiming she was sexually harassed by Dr. Nirmal Joshi. She filed a lawsuit against the doctor, an anesthesiologist also employed at two Deaconess hospitals, following her departure.
In her public apology, Blair wrote that she apologizes to Joshi “and his family, and to all affected, for having made unfounded and false statements and allegations that Dr. Joshi sexually and physically attacked me or ever threatened to do so.”
“My statements and allegations are and were false,” Blair continued. “I have not been promised any monetary payment by Dr. Joshi to make this public apology but do so freely now to end the lawsuit I filed against Dr. Joshi and to attempt to undo the damage I have caused, and in fact, am paying an undisclosed sum to Dr. Joshi.”
At one point in her lawsuit, Blair claims Dr. Joshi became angry at her during work, threatened to have her fired, and then slammed her head against the wall before sexually assaulting her.
An even more bizarre claim actually included in the lawsuit was an unrelated incident Blair said happened on March 6, 2019. She claimed she was driving home when an unidentified man somehow stopped her and threatened her child, holding a picture of the child on his phone and wielding a syringe.
Blair’s story had fallen apart before she even filed her lawsuit, as Deaconess thoroughly investigated her claims and found them unsubstantiated, the Press reported.
“A Deaconess spokeswoman said at the time that its investigation lasted nearly two months and included witnesses interviews, reviewing security camera footage and electronic sign in and out records,” the outlet reported. “On Thursday, [Joshi’s attorney Jean] Blanton said Deaconess’ investigation proved Joshi was not physically nearby at the time of some of the instances Blair alleged.”
Blanton told the outlet that Blair did not agree to mediate the lawsuit until she was confronted with allegations she had made in 2017 against a man with whom she had gone to anesthesia school. Blanton obtained police records of Blair’s previous allegations, which were substantially similar to the allegations she made against Dr. Joshi.
“In both instances, Blair said she was sexually assaulted multiple times, physically harmed, threatened and harassed,” the Press reported. “The investigation in the Illinois case effectively ended in September 2017 after investigators reported Blair told them she did not want to press charges against anybody and that she did not want to be contacted about it anymore.”
“This case is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever come across in my career,” Blanton told the Press. “It was completely made up, crazy set of circumstances.”
Jared Thomas, who represented Blair, told the Press he had “no comment” regarding the woman’s apology.
Blair was able to use Indiana’s Crime Victims’ Relief Act to file he initial lawsuit against Dr. Joshi, which allows alleged victims “certain crimes to take separate civil action to recover damages for injuries from the alleged criminal conduct,” the Press reported. “A defendant does not have to be charged with a crime for someone to file a lawsuit under the act.
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