MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami-Dade surgeon jailed on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery of his ex-paramour says the woman made up the case against him.
Dr. Orlando Llorente, a plastic surgeon in private practice with privileges at Kendall Regional Medical Center, was charged last week with beating, choking and performing a type of waterboarding on his former paramour, 36 year-old Leeanne Sauma.
Sauma called Miami police saying Llorente, enraged over a Facebook posting she had made, banged her head repeatedly on the floor, dragged her into the bathroom of a Brickell high-rise apartment, stuffed a wet rag into her mouth and proceeded to “pour water over her face until she lost consciousness.” Sauma claimed she was held captive for as long as 16 hours before she persuaded Llorente to let her go, assuring him she wouldn’t tell what had happened.
Llorente remains jailed without bond, but his attorney, Marcos Beaton, filed a motion before Judge Stacy Glick Tuesday seeking bail, and claiming that Sauma is an unstable, mean-spirited ex-mistress out to get the doctor who dumped her.
The motion claimed that Sauma “has been trying to persuade Dr. Llorente into leaving his wife,” Laura. The court document said Llorente and his wife were separated for a period of time but have since reconciled. She was in the courtroom Tuesday, as were as many as two dozen friends, relatives and colleagues in supporting her admittedly adulterous husband.
Llorente’s attorney, from the firm headed by famed defense lawyer Roy Black, said the charges against the doctor reflect his former courtesan carrying through on previous threats against him.
The court filing claims Sauman “threatened to go public with their relationship…falsify allegations…and ruin Dr. Llorente’s career.” The motion claimed that there is no physical evidence to support the alleged attack on Sauma. Llorente’s attorney told CBS4’s Gary Nelson that police apparently took photographs of the woman as part of their investigation, but it’s not clear what the photographs show.
The defense introduced a Pinecrest police report from earlier this year when officers were called to the multi-million dollar Pinecrest home of Sauma’s parents, listed as he address as well, after they received a call that she had attempted suicide. The report said Sauma had attacked and bit her brother on the back, leaving a serious bite mark. She was involuntarily hospitalized for mental evaluation.
In attacking Sauma’s credibility, Llorente’s attorney claimed she is “battling severe mental illness, prescription drug abuse [and has]…a propensity for violence.”
CBS4 left numerous messages on Sauma’s cell phone and home phone that were not returned.
A woman who answered the phone listed on a police report as that of her parents’ business, a financial firm, declined to speak to CBS4 News.
“We have been told not to talk about this,” the woman said, without elaborating.
Judge Glick scheduled a May 24th “Arthur” hearing for Dr. Llorente. At that hearing the physician will be allowed to present evidence and argue why he is “entitled to a reasonable bond.”
It is quite possible his alleged victim will testify at the hearing.
The doctor’s friends and relatives, including his wife, declined to respond to questions from CBS4 News following Tuesday’s court hearing.