AP NEWS

Havasu radiologist freed on probation; will serve less time

December 19, 2018

A Lake Havasu City doctor was sentenced Tuesday to three years of probation and 24 days in jail on charges of surreptitious photography.

Lake Havasu City radiologist Ayman N. Awad will serve one weekend in jail per month throughout 2019. He will receive credit for five days served after his arrest, and the additional 66 days of his sentence will be suspended. He will also serve three years of probation.

Awad was initially charged last November in the alleged sexual assault of an unconscious spring breaker, which prosecutors say took place in 2008. Earlier this month, he accepted an agreement in which he would plead guilty to surreptitious photography, with charges of sexual abuse and sexual assault being dismissed.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Richard Weiss rendered Awad’s sentence after having reviewed impact statements from the alleged victim, her friends and members of her family; as well as impact statements written by Awad’s own relations. As the victim continues to live with the knowledge of what happened to her more than a decade ago, those who know Awad find it nearly impossible to reconcile the man they know with the defendant’s suspected actions.

According to previous statements by prosecutors, Awad met the victim in a Havasu bar – a meeting of which the victim says she still has no memory. The victim only learned of her encounter with Awad in 2015, when federal agents arrived at her door to inform her of the offense committed against her. Agents showed the victim a collection of photographs that, according to Mohave County prosecutors, showed Awad in the act of disrobing and assaulting the victim’s unconscious body in his home.

When they ascertained the victim was not a minor at the time of the offense, FBI agents turned the case over to the Lake Havasu City Police Department. Awad was arrested Nov. 17, 2017.

“This is a case where it’s clear what happened to the victim,” said Mohave County Deputy Attorney Megan McCoy. “Based on factors that were out of anyone’s control, the case would have become extremely complicated. It was in the best interest of everyone involved to offer this plea agreement.”

In addition to time in jail and probation, Judge Weiss ordered Awad to pay a fine, which he can optionally pay to five separate charities - including one directed by the victim, herself.

“He’s relieved he can continue to be with his family and that the judge’s sentence will not deprive him of the opportunity to continue to service the community,” said attorney Mike Wozniak, of Kingman-based Whitney & Whitney law firm. “He looks forward to remaining a productive member and citizen of Mohave County.” According to Wozniak, the resolution of Awad’s case was very much a compromise. “(Phoenix-based attorney Jason Webb) and I had strong arguments to make in Awad’s defense but we recognize that trial is always a risk,” Wozniak said. “I support my client in his decision to accept a negotiated plea agreement. I am relieved that Judge Weiss was able to consider the significant mitigation present in this, and agree that (sex offender) parole terms and a lengthy jail sentence were not warranted for my client.”

Civil charges filed by the victim against Awad are pending.

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