The Maryland Board of Physicians summarily suspended the medical license of a Maryland physician on June 5, 2014 due to the physician’s May 23, 2014 criminal indictment for sexual assault that allegedly occurred in his Maryland office. The criminal indictment charges the physician with Unnatural or Perverted Practice and Sexual Offense in the 4th Degree – Sexual Contact, in violation of Maryland laws. The physician had held a Maryland license to practice medicine since 1996.
The Underlying Sexual Assault Allegations
- Patient A
A patient who had been seen by the physician on two prior occasions without incident complained to authorities that during an office visit with the physician on April 6, 2014, during which the patient had complaints involving medication she was previously prescribed by the physician, the physician examined her vagina by inserting his finger into her vagina (a female chaperone was not present) and obtained a vagina sample without using a speculum. According to the patient, the physician subsequently manipulated his ungloved finger over her clitoris, moving his finger from side to side, asking the patient if it hurt or felt good. The patient was crying and implored the physician to stop; the physician stopped but allegedly told the patient he was enjoying what he was doing. The physician thereafter tried to hug the patient but the patient refused to hug.
- Patient B
The patient was examined by the physician during mid-January, 2014. The patient alleged that the physician performed a pelvic examination without a chaperone being present. During the examination, the patient alleges that the physician roughly rubbed her clitoris and clitoral area and used two hands to rub her vaginal area and pull open her vaginal lips.
The Physician’s Prior Criminal History
The physician had pleaded guilty in 1987 to burglary and sexual assault with the threat of a deadly weapon in Florida for which he was incarcerated for approximately four years of a ten-year sentence. When the physician first applied for a medical license in Maryland in 1996, he disclosed that he had pleaded guilty to a criminal act and had been incarcerated, but the physician did not specify the crime and stated that he had “assaulted someone” while he was under the influence of alcohol. Despite the physician’s history, the physician was issued a Maryland medical license on June 28, 1996.
It has been reported that the physician’s 1987 conviction was for rape.
Physicians seeking licensure in Maryland are not required to undergo criminal background checks; they are asked to voluntarily disclose prior criminal convictions, arrests, and guilty pleas, which are then investigated by the Board (yet nurses, social workers, and therapists are required by their respective Maryland licensing boards to undergo criminal background checks when applying for their professional licenses).
The Maryland Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the outgoing Maryland Board of Physicians chairperson issued a joint statement regarding this matter: “[The physician’s] license history in Maryland raises serious questions for the Maryland Board of Physicians, including what the Board staff and Board members were aware of regarding his criminal history, how the Board considered this information, and the role of the physician rehabilitation program [for alcohol abuse] that he participated in.”
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