According to local affiliate KFVS12, a Poplar Bluff, MO pediatrician has been arrested and charged with sexual contact with a child. The doctor is named as Doctor Joseph Fernando, a pediatrician who recently resigned his position from Women's Health Specialists, a medical group located in Poplar Bluff, MO. The COO of Women's Health Specialists confirmed that Dr. Fernando is no longer an employee.
According to documents filed with the court, the survivor of this child sexual abuse is a boy younger than 14 years old, and Joseph Fernando is now facing first degree statutory sodomy charges, which are a felony.
Dr. Joseph Fernando turned himself into Stoddard County authorities on Wednesday February 10, 2021. He is currently in jail at Stoddard County Justice Center and he is being held on a no-bond warrant.
Anyone who has information about the abuse allegations are encouraged to contact the detectives investigating the case on 573-624-5512.
Upon a review of reviews of the accused, WebMD has a profile for Dr. Fernando containing seventeen 5 star reviews and states that he is affiliated with "Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center".
In addition, Joseph Fernando has eight reviews on Google all five star reviews.
We reached out to local child sexual abuse lawyer Ryan Frazier for his commentary on what options are available to those who were sexually abused by their doctor. Here's what he had to say:
"When a doctor sexually abuses a child, we often find that its unfortunately not the first time they have done so. Sexual predators who become doctors have incredible access to a vulnerable population. Often kids are afraid to say anything to a parent; or even may not believe what is happening is sexual abuse because the person doing it is a doctor. This abuse is unacceptable and both criminal and civil justice is needed to make those accountable pay."
He continued to state: "As a civil lawyer, I help survivors of abuse and families navigate the criminal proceedings. They have rights, and they need to be protected. We work to make sure that justice is served, and that when the time is right, we get the answers, truth, and justice our clients need and deserve through commencing a civil claim. Doctor-patient abuse needs to stop, and we are here to do that in the justice system."