SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – Prosecutors say a high court ruling bars them from pursuing rape charges against a Springfield pharmacist accused of sexually assaulting women by pretending to be a gynecologist.

Police said Nicholas Creanza lured women into a back room of his pharmacy for medical exams.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled last May that under a 50-year-old state law, an assault cannot be considered rape if consent is obtained through fraud or deceit. The justices said rape must be by force and against the will of the victim.

That decision came in the case of a Westfield man who was accused of impersonating his brother and raping his brother’s girlfriend in a darkened room.

Creanza’s attorney, Jack St. Clair, says his client has always denied the charges and plans to return to work as a pharmacist.

Information from: The Springfield Republican, http://www.masslive.com/republican/index.ssf

AP-ES-02-01-08 1008EST

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