New Allegations Against Albuquerque Massage Therapist Charged with Sexual Assault
Four more women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault by Albuquerque acupuncturist Megumi Hirayama, who was arrested earlier this month and charged with criminal sexual penetration.
Hirayama, 69, is the owner of Zen Japanese Acupuncture. He was arrested on Thursday, January 10 after a woman told police that he had sexually assaulted her in August 2018 during an appointment at his treatment center on Montgomery St., near Jefferson NE. She said that she had seen Hirayama for treatment of foot pain twice before the assault and that he was professional in those appointments. However, during the third appointment, she told police that Hirayama digitally penetrated her under the guise of medical treatment.
During a hearing last week, APD Detective Daniel Spinks said that the investigations into these new allegations are still in the early stages. He also mentioned that the earliest reported sexual abuse happened 8 to 10 years ago. The incidents described by two of the four women may be considered criminal sexual penetration, while the other two cases could constitute criminal sexual contact.
No charges have been filed in relation to the new allegations. This investigation is ongoing.
Justice for Survivors of Medical Professional Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents sexual assault survivors in civil cases. We’ve asked him to share some thoughts on how the legal system can help find justice for those who have been sexually assaulted by doctors and other medical professionals:
The doctor-patient relationship is built on a foundation of trust. Medical professionals are some of the most trusted members of their communities. When one of these professionals sexually abuses patients, not only are the victims traumatized, but the trust between the medical community and their patients is also severely damaged. The victims of these terrible crimes deserve justice. This is why it’s crucial to both prosecute these sexual predators and to hold medical facilities liable if their negligence allowed the assaults to happen.
In many cases, medical facilities are partially to blame for the sexual abuse of their patients. For example, a clinic might be considered liable if they failed to respond to previous complaints of sexual misconduct involving a doctor, nurse, or another employee. The doctors who commit these crimes can also be held directly liable.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a doctor or another medical professional, you can find justice for the trauma you’ve suffered. To learn more about your family’s legal options, contact one of our experienced sexual assault survivors attorneys for a free consultation.