By Tessa Raebeck
Southampton Town Police arrested Michael Gohring, an acupuncturist in Sag Harbor, on Saturday, July 12, on charges that he sexually abused a female patient he was treating.
Mr. Gohring, 64, a resident and business owner in Sag Harbor since 1987, was arrested at his office, Mikal Gohring Acupuncture & Comprehensive Oriental Medicine, on Noyac Road in Noyac. According to Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa of the Southampton Town Police Department, Mr. Gohring’s legal name on his identification is Michael, but he uses “Mikal” for business purposes.
The patient, who Sergeant Costa identified as a 50-year-old Southampton resident, told police that the acupuncturist had sexually abused her during an appointment while she had acupuncture needles inserted into her body and was thus unable to move. Mr. Gohring was charged with aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree, a Class C Felony, which alleges he violated the patient using his hand.
He was held overnight at Southampton Town Police Headquarters in Hampton Bays and arraigned Sunday, July 13, at Southampton Town Justice Court. Mr. Gohring was remanded to Suffolk County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail, police said in a press release issued Wednesday, July 16. He has since posted bail.
When approached outside his Noyac Road acupuncture office on Tuesday, July 22, Mr. Gohring and his attorney, Robert J. Coyle, who practices in Sag Harbor, said they are in the process of preparing a formal statement attesting to his innocence that will be issued sometime this week.
Mr. Gohring added that he has strong ties to the community and has treated countless local people who can corroborate his professionalism. A poll of Dan’s Papers readers named Mr. Gohring’s practice “Best of the Best Acupuncturist in the Hamptons” several times, most recently in 2013.
According to his website, Mr. Gohring has been practicing professionally 27 years and offers “comprehensive oriental medicine, acupuncture and acutonics treatments.” He lists “women’s health” as among his specialties.
“My training and experience have given me professional expertise in treating diseases and chronic conditions difficult to treat through other disciplines,” his website states.
Mr. Gohring is due back in Southampton Town Court on September 9.
Police have asked that anyone with related information call the Southampton Town Detective Unit at (631) 702-2230.