Last Update: 7/13/2020
Lawyer Comments: See the second section of this story for legal commentary on the legal rights of victims from doctor sexual assault lawyer Bobby Thompson.
The former chief of cardiology at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Palo Alto Medical Center was indicted by a federal grand jury last week on sexual battery charges. 71-year-old Dr. John Giacomini is accused of sexually assaulting a fellow VA doctor at the hospital in 2017.
Giacomini is accused of engaging in unwanted and nonconsensual sexual contact with the doctor, who was a subordinate physician at the hospital, in December of 2017.
In addition to a 30-year career as the chief of the cardiology department, Giacomini was also a professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford Medical School.
Stanford placed Giacomini on administrative leave in June of 2018 after a complaint was filed against him, which led to an investigation. Stanford has since dismissed him from his position.
Giacomini is also no longer working at the VA hospital. It is not clear when he left.
In addition to the allegations of unwanted contact, an investigation determined that Giacomini might have propositioned another female subordinate at the VA.
Giacomini’s first court date is scheduled for July 7 in the U.S. District Court of Northern California.
Attorney Bobby Thompson is experienced in representing victims of sex crimes in civil lawsuits. We’ve asked Bobby to share some thoughts on the legal rights of doctor sexual assault victims, including hospital staff members who have themselves been sexually assaulted on the job.
“Doctors are some of the most highly trusted professionals, and most doctors are indeed trustworthy people. However, there have also been reports of doctors sexually assaulting patients and coworkers in medical facilities throughout the country. When a doctor is charged with sex crimes, it’s important that the victims are aware of their legal options.”
Mr. Thompson explained, “Along with criminal charges brought forth by governmental officials, predatory doctors can also be made to face consequences by civil lawsuits. Depending on the circumstances of the case, victims may have grounds for a lawsuit directly against the doctor and possibly the medical facility where the crime occurred.”