On August 23, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced that 59-year-old Dr. Mark Jackson was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a patient during a breast cancer screening in 2017. Vance says that Jackson put his mouth on the victim’s breast and forced her to put her hand on his genitals during the screening at the Starting Point Clinic on West 124th Street in Harlem. The clinic specializes in treating patients with substance abuse problems.
Jackson has been charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of forcible touching.
Vance believes that there may be more victims in this case because Jackson worked at the clinic for three years and saw many patients with substance abuse disorders. Jackson was also arrested in 1996 and convicted on charges of distribution of a controlled substance, which resulted in a one-year jail sentence.
The District Attorney has urged anyone who thinks they may be a victim to contact the DA’s Office Sex Crimes Unit at (212) 335-9373.
Laurence Banville is a lawyer for sexual abuse by doctors. Here are some of his thoughts on how filing a lawsuit can help individuals who have been sexually assaulted by medical professionals:
The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust. We all expect our medical professionals to conduct themselves in a professional manner and to treat us with respect. Unfortunately, a minority of doctors abuse their positions of trust in order to act as sexual predators and abuse and assault their patients.
The criminal justice system meets the important need of making sure these professionals are prosecuted for these crimes. However, survivors should also know that the civil court system can help them directly. Sexual misconduct by medical professionals is often the result of negligence. In some cases, third parties (such as the professional’s employer) were negligent in their failure to prevent the misconduct. When this happens, survivors can demand accountability by filing a lawsuit, which can also help provide financial support for damages related to the traumatic incident.
If you’re the survivor of sexual assault by a doctor and would like to explore your legal options, we highly suggest discussing the details of your case with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer.