Maricopa County Attorney's Office looking into victims' confusion over plea deal

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A day before a judge will sentence a former cardiologist for sexual abuse and assault, County Attorney Bill Montgomery is expressing concerns over how the victims were treated by his office.

Richard Lewis agreed to plead guilty to 18 counts of aggravated assault - one count per victim - and give up his medical license, but he doesn't have to register as a sex offender.

Victims in the case say that wasn't explained by the Maricopa County Attorney's Victim Services division.

"'Do I want to do something about that? Is that ok with you?' Those were not questions that were asked. The nature of the call to me, about the plea deal, was to inform me. That's it," said Katie Wilson, one of the victims.

Wilson said she didn't know she had any say in the matter. And that's a concern to Bill Montgomery.

"Regardless of whether or not victims in fact were not provided full information, if at the end of the day victims of these crimes feel that more should have been done in communicating with them, that's enough for me to take the issue seriously," said Montgomery, who also said there will be an internal review into the matter.

Montgomery added that a judge could decide to reject the plea deal based on the victims' desire to require Lewis to register as a sex offender, but Montgomery believes sentencing will go on, as is.

Lewis is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday and faces up to one year in jail.