Local News

Former Fayetteville optometrist faces molestation charges in Washington state

Posted September 17, 2014 6:18 p.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2014 10:36 p.m. EDT

— An optometrist who recently moved from Fayetteville to Washington state has been charged with fondling a 10-year-old patient, according to police records.

John Patrick O'Brien, 33, of Bellevue, Wash., was charged on Sept. 11 with first-degree child molestation, sexual exploitation of a minor and second-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

According to a police report, a 10-year-old went to O'Brien's office in Everett, Wash., on Aug. 20 for an eye exam. After dilating her pupils, he took her into an examination room and told her father to wait outside. The girl said the doctor took off her shirt during the exam and felt her breasts and upper body.

The doctor then asked the girl to stand up, bend over and pull down her pants, according to the report. When she objected, what police described as a tug of war over her pants ensued before the doctor was able to get her pants down. The girl told police that she thought the doctor was taking photographs of her because she saw flashes of light and then saw him trying to hide his cellphone.

The girl told her mother about the incident when she got home, and she later identified O'Brien from a photo lineup, the arrest report states.

Police obtained a search warrant for his cellphone and found seven photos the showed the girl's face, bare chest, exposed buttocks and underwear, according to the report. Investigators also were examining his home computers for evidence.

Before moving to Washington, O'Brien and his wife operated O'Brien Family Eye Care in Fayetteville. He previously had been stationed at Fort Bragg.