Doctor Who Resigned in 2017 Charged with Sexual Assault
Former UW Health doctor Michael Thom, who was first accused of sexual misconduct involving a patient in 2017, has been charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of sexual assault.
According to a criminal complaint, on December 16, 2016, the 69-year-old doctor allegedly put his mouth on a patient’s breast during a medical examination at his office at the UW Health West Clinic, located on Junction Road. This patient also told police that he put her hand on his crotch and kissed her on the mouth. He also allegedly made an inappropriate sexual comment while examining her back.
This woman was a longtime patient of Thom. She gave police several photos that she says Thom sent her via text message, including several of his genitals.
Thom resigned from his position at UW Health and surrendered his medical license in 2017 after these allegations surfaced. He now faces charges of second-degree sexual assault by a health care employee and fourth-degree sexual assault for the alleged incidents in December 2016. He is scheduled to appear in court on April 4.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Doctor Sexual Assault
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual assault in civil lawsuits. Here are a few of Brian’s thoughts on the options for legal recourse available to survivors of sexual assault by doctors:
Doctors are some of the most trusted members of our society. We all place our trust in doctors when we need medical care. While most of these doctors are honorable people worthy of this trust and respect, there have also been widespread problems of sexual assault committed by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals. The perpetrators of these crimes deserve to be held accountable and their victims deserve justice.
Doctors who abuse their patients and the medical facilities who enable abuse can both be held liable if survivors decide to file a lawsuit. For example, if the facility where the abuse occurred had ignored previous reports of misconduct involving a doctor at the facility, that facility could be considered negligent and held liable.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of doctor sexual assault, you have legal options for justice. You can learn more about your rights by speaking to one of our experienced sexual assault survivors lawyers in a free consultation.