On Tuesday, October 30, police in Clermont arrested Dr. Matthew Johnson based on allegations that he sexually battered a 16-year-old girl while working as an acupuncturist at One Yoga and Fitness on Bowman Street. According to authorities, the victim had been one of Johnson's patients for a few weeks before he sexually assaulted her at the facility.
Johnson was arrested at his home last Tuesday and charged with sexual battery. Police say that he performed sexual acts on the teen under the guise of a medical procedure.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard represents survivors of sexual violence committed by medical professionals, helping these survivors find justice and support. Here are some of his thoughts on the options for legal recourse available to these survivors:
Doctor-patient relationships are built on a foundation of trust. We all trust that our doctors and medical professionals will provide the best care they can in a respectful manner, but unfortunately, sometimes medical professionals break this trust and sexually abuse their patients. For many patients, going through this traumatic experience may result in devastating emotional and financial setbacks and a difficulty trusting other medical professionals in the future.
When a medical professional abuses the patient, it's important for the patient to be aware of their legal rights and to get the support they deserve. In many cases, these crimes are enabled through negligence, such as an employer allowing a doctor to continue working even after being accused of sexual misconduct. In cases involving negligence, the victim and their family may have grounds for a lawsuit against the doctor and/or their employer.
If you or a loved one has been sexually assaulted by a medical professional and you'd like to learn more about your legal rights, we advise speaking to an experienced sexual assault survivors lawyer.