WEST CHESTER — Dr. Thomas Irwin Miles’ voice was clear and plaintive.

“I’m so sorry,” Miles said to the woman on the other end of the phone, a woman who had been his patient for years but who had stopped seeing him for massages at the chiropractic clinic months ago without explanation. “I don’t want any trouble. I made the mistake of trying to be too sensual. My intentions were not to turn it into something sexual. But I made a mistake. I went too far.

“I just want to say I’m sorry,” Miles said again.

According to a prosecutor in Chester County Common Pleas Court last week during Miles’ trial on indecent assault charges, he apologized for groping a woman’s breasts twice in 2017 during physical massages at his office on Mullin Road in East Whiteland . And what he didn’t know at the time was that the April 2018 call had been recorded by a city detective investigating the woman’s claims.

The recording, along with testimony from a woman and claims by a second woman who accused Miles of groping her, were part of the evidence that led to Miles’ conviction Friday on charges that have been pending against him for more than four years.

A jury of seven women and five men, who heard the case before Judge Alita Rovit, returned a guilty verdict on two counts of indecent assault, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one to two years in prison. The panel deliberated for about two hours before reaching its verdict around 4 p.m

Miles, 61, known as “Dr. Tom” at his Health First Center practice did not testify at the weeklong trial. He remains free on bail pending sentencing, despite the objections of the chief prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Kathleen S. Wright, who asked Rovit to revoke his bail and take him into custody.

Although Ravita granted Miles bail, she said Monday she would consider a request by prosecutors that he be barred from practicing pending sentencing as part of his bail conditions. Now he could also face disciplinary action from the state and have his license suspended or revoked.

Miles’ defense was that the alleged indecent contact with none of the women ever took place and that he had been falsely accused. Coatesville defense attorney Albert Sardella Jr. argued in his lawsuit that the first lady sought Internet fame after the Me Too movement and multiple sexual assault allegations against a team doctor for the USA women’s gymnastics team and had fabricated her story of molestation.

The prosecution’s star witness was a 43-year-old mother of one who works as a social media and communications consultant for a local nonprofit agency. She told the jury she met Miles at her daughter’s private school, where he was also a parent. According to her, she started visiting him for massages to relieve stress in early 2013.

Daily local news is withholding the name of the woman, as well as another patient who testified against Miles, because of the nature of the allegations. The claim of the second woman was not brought to court, because the statute of limitations had expired.

The incidents that landed Miles on trial took place in June and July 2017, she told jurors during her two-hour testimony, much of which she wept openly and sighed deeply. As in the past, she stripped down to her underpants and lay down covered with a sheet to massage her head, shoulders, arms, back, legs and feet.

The final phase of the massage involved her lying on her back while Miles massaged her shoulders and breasts while he stood or sat behind her. There was never any indication that she wanted to massage the breast area, but in June 2017, she felt his hands creeping down to her nipple.

“I thought, ‘This is wrong,'” she said during Wright’s interrogation on Tuesday. “I was so confused. He was a man I trusted.” As she was leaving that day, Miles told her, “That was a little more exotic massage,” she said.

The woman said that although she had concerns about what happened, she thought that Miles, who she had been seeing for so long, deserved the benefit of the doubt and that it was some kind of mistake. She returned again in July 2017 for another routine massage. This time he went even further, wrapping his arms around her breasts and caressing them for about a minute. That day she left in a hurry and did not return.

She said she felt humiliated and embarrassed and that she was “frozen” when it happened. “Did it seem intentional?” Wright asked. Yes, she said. The prosecutor asked if it seemed somehow therapeutic.

– No, – answered the woman. “It was sexual. It was disgusting.”

On cross-examination, Sardella pointed to the fact that the woman did not report her allegations to police or tell anyone about Miles’ behavior until months later. The woman said she was prompted to report the incidents after she saw a news story about a California chiropractor who had been convicted of similar practices and then saw that Miles was listed as a team physician for a local school’s gymnastics program — just as and Dr. Larry Nasser were found guilty of sexually assaulting hundreds of young female patients.

He noted that she had spent months on social media posting about sexual violence against women, but never appeared to discuss her own claims or speak out against Miles, even though she described herself as a “social media storyteller.”

She pushed back, saying she was trying to draw attention to the problem, but not to her own experience. “I’m all for it,” she said. “For my daughter, for myself, for every woman in this room.”

A second woman who said Miles groped her did not report her experience, which she said happened in 2016, until she saw a newspaper report about Miles’ arrest. She said she was his patient while recovering from cancer and that he inappropriately touched her breasts during a massage session. She didn’t come back.

In his closing argument, Sardella asked jurors to consider that the first woman did not go to the police until she decided to make herself a character in a morality tale against her alleged abuser, an actor in her own play.

“(She) knew exactly what she wanted to say,” he said. “She wanted to be important and act as a crusader against injustice. And she saw an opportunity. She is someone who wants to participate in the conversation

“The fact that she didn’t say anything for seven or eight months, that she didn’t do anything and that she made an appointment and went back for treatment, if that makes you hesitate, you have to find him not guilty,” he told jurors. .

But Wright urged the panel to look past the defense’s “circus” of the woman’s social media posts and focus on her story on the stand, which was corroborated not only by other witnesses but also by Miles himself.

“The wellness center is a place for healing,” Wright said. “This should not be a place where anyone is made to feel humiliated and embarrassed. This is not a case of “He said, she said”. It’s a case of “She said it and he said it too.”

Sergeant East Whiteland investigated the case. Patricia Doyle. Wright was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Trautman.

To reach staff writer Michael P. Relahan, call 610-696-1544.