An Algonquin dentist must register for life as a sex offender after committing what a judge called "a patient's worst nightmare."
Eman A. Shirazi, 44, was sentenced Thursday to 144 days in McHenry County Jail and 1 1/2 years of probation for cornering a woman in his dental office on Jan. 11, 2018, and touching her inappropriately. Shirazi also performed what the victim said was excruciatingly painful dental work on her afterward, she said.
"In a panic and my heart racing, I started feeling that perhaps he was trying to send me a message to keep my mouth shut," the woman said. "I thought I could be in danger, what if he rigged something to kill me. I was frightened all over again. I felt like an animal stuck in a trap."
The Northwest Herald is not identifying the woman because she is the victim of a crime.
Shirazi is required to serve 50% of his jail sentence and must pay the woman $3,000 in restitution. He had been free on $12,500 bail since January 2018; the remainder of that money will be used to pay for the victim's future counseling expenses, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt ordered.
"This boorish sexual behavior today is certainly unacceptable, especially in a professional setting," Wilbrandt said while handing down the sentence.
Before his arrest, Shirazi, of Lakewood, was the general dentist at Water Tower Family Dental, 1496 Merchant Drive. On Thursday, he stood outside a McHenry County courtroom surrounded by a large group of family, friends, patients and co-workers there to show him support.
Throughout the afternoon, people who knew Shirazi described him as compassionate and generous. One of Shirazi's attorneys, Thomas Loizzo, called the situation the "collateral damage" of a "moment of temptation."
"The consequence of the act far outweighs the act itself," Loizzo said before asking for a sentence of community service.
Shirazi was set to go to trial in August, but instead entered a partial negotiated guilty plea on Aug. 8 to attempted criminal sexual assault.
The victim, a 34-year-old Chicago woman, had been providing web and marketing services for Shirazi's business, partially in exchange for dental work, she said. On the day Shirazi assaulted her, a female employee who usually sat in on their business meetings wasn't there, and the victim was struck again by feelings of helplessness she felt while during the abuse she experienced as a child, she said.
"He immediately started talking disgusting to me and my heart and stomach sank," the woman said. "I felt like a little girl again, helpless, and unable to defend myself."
After their meeting, Shirazi led the victim into his office, where he tightened her braces, but didn't trim the extra wire digging into her cheeks, causing them to bleed and swell, she said. It took her hours to trim them herself with a pair of pliers, she said.
"All the pain and trauma from my childhood I worked so hard to get past, back, haunting me. Now fresh with a new predator ...," the woman said. "This time it’s different because before I was a scared little girl unable to defend myself with no one to come for me. This time I called the Algonquin P.D. and they came for me."
Days later, the victim secretly recorded two phone conversations with Shirazi while police listened in.
"It was just a crazy mood. I can't explain it," Shirazi said on the recording. "It was stupid. I apologize."
While on the stand Thursday, however, Shirazi said the only thing he's guilty of is "cheating on his wife." Appearing relaxed and leaning back in his chair as he spoke to the judge, Shirazi described his family's immigration from Iran, adding that he "worked [his] butt off" for everything he has today.
"With this 'Me Too' movement, I don't want to go through that," Shirazi said.
Having been free on bond since January 2018, Shirazi was handcuffed and led to the county jail after the hearing. The sentence triggered tears of relief for the victim.
"I am unstoppable," she said.