Sex-for-drug trial begins with day of furious testimony

One witness ran out of court as he testified against a doctor named St. Augustine accused of exchanging sex pills.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Florida – “Beast” or Devoted Doctor? That’s a question for a jury in the federal criminal trial of Dr. Scott Hollington, a St. Augustine addiction specialist accused of selling prescription drugs for sex.

Hollington pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of conspiracy, drug dealing and obstruction of justice.

Testimony began on Monday from DEA sabotage investigator David Martin, who led a month-long crime investigation operation. He said undercover agents were given prescriptions for controlled substances, including Xanax, Subtext and Adderall, without demonstrating any medical necessity or undergoing medical clearance.

” [agents] told to give as little information as possible [to Hollington] and, if possible, do not state medical reasons for appointments,” Martin testified.

Hollington’s attorney, Curtis Falgutter, argued that the drugs Hollington prescribed were legal drugs to help drug addicts recover, and that allegations of sex with patients were just “smoke and a mirror”.

The day’s second witness was a former patient who said that Hollington used the fact that she was poor, a drug addict and had a history of sexual exploitation to extort sexual acts. She called him a “monster” and became angry at Falgutter’s lengthy interrogations. At one point, she turned her back on the lawyer in the witness chair and soon after, ran out of the courtroom saying, “You should arrest me, I’m done.”

She eventually returned, but during a break in court, Fallgutter complained to U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan. “I have never had a more hostile witness in a courtroom,” he said, adding: “There must be some decorum, and with all due respect, I need your help with this.”

Corrigan acknowledged that the witness’s behavior had gone beyond what was acceptable, including sometimes harsh language, but said that this was not surprising given the “protracted” nature of Falgutter’s cross-examination and the witness’s apparent agitation.

“I think some of the emotions you’re hearing are legitimate emotions,” Corrigan said, noting that he doesn’t think the witness was trying to interfere with cross-examination.

“Be careful what you ask for, you will get… I don’t think you will get a sanitized version of this,” Corrigan said. “There will be some fight.”

The third witness was also a former patient who was treated for addictions by another doctor whose practice was closed. She said she was initially struck by the fact that there was no receptionist in Hollington’s office and that the doctor himself was barefoot. “I thought it was a little weird,” she said.

The patient stated that she became embarrassed when Hollington, during her first visit, asked if she had a boyfriend and then “got nervous” after he locked his office front door and his office door. She said he then proceeded to attack her, pulling off her yoga pants, “breaking the strings” and sticking his fingers inside her vagina. When she continued to reject his advances, she said that he relented, but took more from her than he had originally indicated, and greatly reduced the dosage of each of her three prescriptions.

The patient said she didn’t want to go back. She eventually returned because she needed medication to stay clean, but brought her stepfather in for safety. She testified that Hollington did not immediately recognize her, but “looked at me with those eyes like a wolf”.

She testified that when they left the appointment, her stepfather had prescriptions for Valium and Suboxone.

“I was confused,” she said. “My stepfather has never taken painkillers in his life.”

Hollington himself was attentive during his testimony, his suit and tie were wrinkled as each witness identified him. At one point, he sighed loudly as the jury left the courtroom.

Testimony continues on Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to continue next week.

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