St. Augustine’s Physician Trial Begins for Sex-for-Pills

A St. Augustine doctor is accused of what prosecutors say was a scheme to exploit drug addicts by offering them drugs in exchange for sex.

ST. Augustine, Florida. A federal case against a St. Augustine doctor accused of trading sex for drugs began on Friday with jury selection.

Scott Hollington has been charged with 20 criminal counts, which prosecutors say was a scheme to use drug addicts for sexual services.

The charges include one count of conspiracy, 14 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances and five counts of obstruction of justice. He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors will rely on testimony from both undercover FBI agents posing as patients at Hollington Sograss Medical and five real patients, according to court documents.

“The defendant knew that his patients had addiction problems and took advantage of their legitimate need for treatment by seeking and receiving sexual favors,” the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

“…[T]The defendant knew that his patients did not have the money to pay for doctor visits or their prescriptions, so the defendant solicited and received sexual favors in lieu of payment,” prosecutors wrote. “This testimony will demonstrate how the defendant used his patients to his advantage. “needing treatment to suppress his sexual desires…”

In court documents, Hollington’s attorney argued that his sexual relationships with patients were irrelevant because the doctor was writing medically necessary prescriptions for patients struggling with addiction.

Hollington’s attorney asked the judge to “prohibit the government from making any allegations of Dr. Hollington’s sexual activity involving counts 12-15 patients until the government proves that said patients had no legitimate need for a prescription.” … The government is not the morality police.”

The judge denied this request.

However, the judge granted the defense’s motion to restrict some of the footage secretly recorded by FBI agents posing as patients. Hollington’s lawyer said the doctor’s comments would be “biased” and inappropriate.

According to court documents, those comments included “the defendant is discussing[ing] General Robert E. Lee, Civil War, Slavery, Pros and Cons of the North vs. the South.” They added the comment, “What actually happened to the South is something.”

In a separate motion, the defendants asked the judge not to show video clips of a doctor sharing his thoughts on COVID and engaging in sexual pranks with a patient.

Prosecutors said they had no intention of using his COVID comments in court, but argued that the sexual comments were relevant to the case. They said Hollington was recorded “making inappropriate and unprofessional comments to those he knew as his patients (undercover agents) about the size of his penis and his proximity to women and their sexual body parts.”

“The testimony of the defendants is not only relevant, but also extremely unprofessional,” the prosecutor’s office wrote. “These statements directly highlight the defendant’s inability to ask appropriate questions for the purpose of lawfully prescribing drugs in the normal course of professional practice.”

The judge agreed to exclude comments about COVID. He turned down a request to ban the use of sex talk in court, but said the defense could raise the issue again if warranted.

The trial begins with opening remarks on Monday, July 17 at 9:00 am.

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