CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Two charges have been dropped against a West Virginia doctor who faces multiple sexual abuse allegations.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom dismissed one count of sexual assault and another of sexual abuse against Dr. Steven Matulis of Charleston during a Wednesday afternoon hearing.

The gastroenterologist is accused of sexually assaulting and abusing patients while they were unconscious during procedures. His charges now are four counts of second-degree sexual assault and one of first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty in June.

Bloom said the time span and lack of clear identity for the victim or victims in the counts that he dismissed did not enable Matulis to provide evidence to defend himself.

Matulis' trial is scheduled to start Oct. 1.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail,