Attorney Comments: Doctor sexual assault lawyer Brian Kent discusses lawsuits for victims of sexual assault by doctors in the second section of this article.
Dr. Jonathan Yates of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley has been named in a federal complaint for allegedly sexually assaulting dozens of patients. Yates has been charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and was arrested on Thursday, April 2.
The allegations against Yates first surfaced several months ago. He was named by over 30 patients in a complaint with the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine.
The federal filing includes an affidavit from Special Agent Michael Moyer of the FBI, who writes of several patients who have accused Yates of inappropriate contact while under his care.
Multiple veterans were interviewed prior to this filing, along with a doctor who worked directly with Yates.
The affidavit describes the experiences of a 42-year-old U.S. Army veteran who saw Yates for chronic back pain and pain in his toes, fingers, and hips. This veteran says Yates made inappropriate comments to him in a locked examination room before allegedly grabbing his under and pulling it down. Yates then allegedly rubbed the man's lower body with an ungloved hand.
Other veterans described similar incidents involving Yates when they went to him for medical assistance.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced sexual assault victims lawyer who has represented several victims of doctor sexual assault in civil lawsuits. Here is Brian with some general information on the legal rights of these victims:
Doctors are trusted by their patients and no one ever expects their doctor to violate this trust, especially by sexually assaulting them. But sadly, there have been reports of doctors sexually assaulting patients in all 50 states.
When a doctor is charged with sexual crimes involving patients, all of the circumstances must be investigated - including whether these crimes could have been prevented.
Some doctor sexual assault cases happen only because of negligence by the hospital or medical facility where the assault occurred - such as ignoring reports of inappropriate behavior by the doctor. In these cases, the medical facility could be held liable in a lawsuit by the victims. Additionally, doctors can also be sued directly for sexually assaulting their patients.
If you're a victim of sexual assault by a doctor, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with one of our experienced sex abuse victim lawyers.