SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Suffolk doctor was found guilty Monday of a misdemeanor charge of attempting to create an unlawful image of another after being accused of putting his cell phone under the dress of an unsuspecting colleague and taking a video last year.

Giovanni Geronilla was found guilty in Suffolk General District Court, where his defense put on no evidence, but argued against Commonwealth evidence presented by Suffolk Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Carmen Cabrero, which stated that on June 7 at Lakeview Medical Center, Geronilla intentionally dropped a phone that took images of the victim under her dress.

Interestingly, the Commonwealth’s witness, a CSI forensic technician, said she could not get past Geronilla’s phone security and was not able to say definitely whether the information in the analysis report is the same as the content on his phone.

In a bench trial, Judge Alfred Bates sided with defense and did not allow the report, but the Commonwealth won anyway.

There was apparently enough evidence for the judge to see intent in what Geronilla was accused of doing.

Outside court, we asked Geronilla about intent, but he and his attorney had no comment.

He was given 90-day sentence, 70 days suspended, at which point the sheriff’s deputy moved in behind him to take him into custody. However, the judge agreed to give him seven days, until next Monday, to consider filing an appeal. Geronilla was also given a $1,500 dollar fine and is not allowed to possess anything that can take an image.  

In court, 10 On Your Side learned the victim, who on her last day working at Lakeview, had cupcakes delivered and offered one to Geronilla if he came back later. That’s when he returned, and problems apparently began. 

In court, the victim said she was at a charting station typing notes when suddenly she looked down, and she saw a phone between her feet, with the camera in the up position.  

Geronilla’s attorney, Tom Barbour, questioned another of the victim’s co-workers on whether that person saw him drop his phone. The co-worker said that “I saw him pick up the phone.”

“You did not see him drop his phone…no one, your honor, ever saw him drop the phone. “ 

Barbour then asked, ““You don’t have any information whether it was an accident, or not?” 

“That’s correct,” the co-worker answered.

At least two co-workers and the victim gave accounts of Geronilla pretending to be on the phone. He would then look down at the phone, but when others got near him he would put the phone back up to his mouth as if he were talking. 

They thought the phone call was fake because his iPhone camera app was open with a red button, indicating the video feature. However, on iPhones, the video feature is not accessible during phone calls. 

Another witness against Geronilla was a woman who claimed a similar incident occurred with Geronilla in October 2021. She felt him close to her as she was walking down a hall, realized he was there, saw the camera and kept walking quickly to get away from him. Police were never called. 

There was apparently enough evidence for the judge to see intent in what Geronilla was accused of doing. 

Geronilla has until next Monday to decide if he will appeal.