Former Doctor Sentenced To Probation For Sexual Abuse
A doctor who formerly worked at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock pleaded guilty to a sexual assault charge in Pulaski County on July 30. Circuit Judge Wendell Griffin sentenced 54-year-old James Nesmith to five years of supervision based on a plea agreement. Nesmith has also been ordered to pay a $15,000 fine, surrender his medical license, register as a sex offender, and avoid all contact with minors.
Nesmith was arrested in October on one count of second-degree sexual assault after the victim told police that the doctor grabbed his genitals when he was 14 years old. The case was first brought to police by a pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, who said several teens had accused Nesmith of touching their genitals during church-related activities. However, only one charge was filed in the case.
Nesmith was working as an associate professor at UAMS and a physician at Arkansas Children’s Hospital at the time of his arrest. He surrendered to authorities following the accusations.
Legal Recourse For Survivors of Sexual Abuse By Doctors
Experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer and Legal Herald contributor Brian Kent has some thoughts on the rights of individuals who have been sexually abused by doctors:
When people in positions of authority exploit their power to sexually abuse vulnerable minors, it’s normal for the victim and their family to seek justice. The individuals who commit these awful crimes need to be prosecuted in the criminal justice system, but victims should also be aware of the legal recourse they have through the civil court system.
In some cases, victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the perpetrator and the facility that employed them. Liability in these cases is complex, but sometimes, medical facilities fail to adequately screen for sexual offenders or fail to properly respond to complaints of abuse. Survivors of sexual abuse should consider speaking with an experienced sexual abuse victims lawyer about their legal options.