The 41-year-old Ohio orthopedic surgeon was convicted on February 24, 2016 of two counts of gross sexual imposition and one count of tampering with medical records following a one-week criminal jury trial, for palpating the breasts of two of his former patients and pulling down their pants during examinations in his office. He was also convicted of tampering with one of his female patient’s medical records after he found out that he was being investigated by the State Medical Board of Ohio and police officials.
On February 26, 2016, the judge sentenced the orthopedic surgeon to 180 days in jail, 90 days of work release once he completes his jail sentence, and four years of community control. The judge also imposed $5,000 in fines, required that the defendant be classified as a sex offender, and ordered that he register his home address and work address with the local sheriff annually, for fifteen years.
On March 9, 2016, one of the two female victims filed an Ohio medical malpractice lawsuit against the Ohio orthopedic surgeon and his former orthopedic practice. The plaintiff alleges that the orthopedic surgeon asked her to bend over and touch her toes during a medical examination at which time he pulled down her pants and underwear. During that same medical examination, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant pulled down her bra strap, exposed her left breast, and then pushed, squeezed, and cupped her left breast, which he repeated, twice, during the examination.
The plaintiff alleges that the defendant’s actions constituted a battery, and she further alleges that the defendant altered her medical records to hide his misconduct.
The plaintiff’s Ohio medical malpractice lawsuit alleges that the defendant’s actions were negligent and departed from the accepted standards of medical care. The plaintiff seeks in excess of $25,000 in punitive damages from the defendants.
A study published in 1998 regarding physicians who were disciplined for sex-related offenses found that there were a total of 761 physicians disciplined for sex-related offenses from 1981 through 1996. The study found that the number of physicians disciplined per year for sex-related offenses increased from 42 in 1989 to 147 in 1996, and the proportion of all disciplinary orders that were sex related increased from 2.1% in 1989 to 4.4% in 1996. The study found that discipline for sex-related offenses was significantly more severe than for non-sex-related offenses, with 71.9% of sex-related orders involving revocation, surrender, or suspension of medical license. The offenses committed by 567 of the 761 physicians involved patients, including sexual intercourse, rape, sexual molestation, and sexual favors for drugs. As of March 1997, 216 of the physicians disciplined for sex-related offenses between 1981 and 1994 were licensed to practice. Compared with all physicians, physicians disciplined for sex-related offenses were more likely to practice in the specialties of psychiatry, child psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, and family and general practice than in other specialties. They were also older than the national physician population but they were no different in terms of board certification status.
If you or a family member may be the victim of inappropriate sexual contact or other sexual misconduct by a doctor or other medical provider in Ohio or in another U.S. state, you should promptly seek to consult with a local medical malpractice lawyer in your state who may investigate your sexual misconduct claim for you and represent you in a claim against a doctor or other medical provider, if appropriate.
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