Hagens Berman Blog

Sexual Harassment News: Charleston Doctor Sentenced, Misconduct

by HB Sexual Harassment Legal Team

11/07/2018

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Charleston doctor gets 1 to 5 years for sexual abuse

A Charleston doctor was sentenced Monday to up to five years in prison after sexually abusing a patient.

Dr. Steven Matulis was convicted in October of sexual abuse when a jury found he touched unconscious patients’ breasts and vaginas without their consent. Matulis was acquitted of two counts of sexual assault, and several other charges were dismissed by Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom before the jury began deliberating.

Matulis also must pay a $10,000 fine, the maximum allowed under the sexual abuse charge, and will spend five years on supervised release once he leaves prison. He also has several lawsuits brought by former patients over his inappropriate touching. read more »

Still forgiven

The #MeToo movement and public outcry over Dr. Larry Nassar’s sex abuse have not reformed the system that disciplines doctors

A new national investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has uncovered 450 cases of doctors who were brought before medical regulators or courts for sexual misconduct or sex crimes in 2016 and 2017. In nearly half of those cases, the AJC found, the doctors remain licensed to practice medicine, no matter whether the victims were patients or employees, adults or children.

Even some doctors criminally convicted are back in practice, demonstrating that a system that forgives doctors — first exposed by the AJC in 2016 — has not changed. read more »

Hurt that doesn’t heal

It’s the last thing patients expect to happen.

Doctors are supposed to touch during an exam, but not fondle. Psychiatrists should listen to a patient’s darkest secrets, but never parlay the intimacy into a kiss. Anesthesiologists put patients under for surgery, but shouldn’t have their way with them.

When physicians barge through the sacred boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship, the damage to patients can last for years – if not forever. read more »