PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) – Former Palo Alto Veteran Affairs Hospital Chief of Cardiology John Giacomini was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in prison. He was convicted for felony abusive sexual contact of a former subordinate doctor, the United States Department of Justice said in a statement Tuesday.

Giacomini pleaded guilty to the charge on March 2. He admitted that in 2017 he began to force a subordinate doctor to unwelcomed sexual contact, including kissing and groping. 

The victim resigned at the end of 2017, stating that Giacomini’s behavior was her principal reason for leaving. She said at the sentencing, “the primary reason I reported these events was to help prevent this from happening to anyone else again, especially women fellows in the field of cardiology.”

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Judge Beth L. Freeman handed down the sentence and cited Giacomini’s conduct, the victim’s courage in coming forward, and the pervasiveness of workplace sexual assault as compelling factors justifying imposition of a prison sentence. In addition, Judge Freeman also ordered Giacomini to serve one year of supervised release, pay a fine of $15,000, and pay mandatory special assessment fees.