Nowadays, in 2021, many doctors and healthcare providers are being put under investigation, not only by the medical board, but under criminal investigation.
Patients are indicating that they're doing inappropriate things and if you're being investigated, you're a doctor, one of your patients is claiming that you somehow sexually assaulted them -- you need an attorney right away.
You want to make sure you make the right moves and don't say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing.
When a patient makes a complaint to the state medical license board or law enforcement accusing you of sexual harassment or battery, then your income and reputation are in jeopardy, even if you are factually innocent.
Do not attempt to contact the patient to discuss the allegations or reach a quick settlement. At this point, it's clear communication has broken down and the patient is feeling anger and possibly using deception.
If you contact them, then you just created an opportunity for them to start making claims that can end your career and face further allegations of criminal threats and bribery.
Rather, you need to consult with a criminal defense lawyer with experience in handling cases involving doctors and psychiatrist who are facing allegations of sexual misconduct claims.
Put simply, your career is at stake and you need professional legal representation to have the best chance at a favorable outcome. Our California sex crime defense lawyers are providing an overview below.
What is Sexual Misconduct by a Doctor?
Sexual misconduct is broadly defined under California Business & Professions Code 726, which prohibits several types of behavior, including:
- Sexual battery,
- Sexual assault,
- Sexual abuse of any type,
- Sexual relations with a patient,
- Indecent exposure,
- Lewd conduct,
- Lewd acts with a minor,
- Oral copulation,
- Sexual penetration with a foreign object,
- Rape and statutory rape,
- Improper touching for sexual gratification.
As you can see within the definition, sexual relationships between a doctor and their patient is prohibited, even if it was consensual.
If a doctor or medical professional is found guilty of this type of relationship, they will typically face disciplinary action.
The Medical Board of California further prohibits sexual exploitation of patients by physicians. If you are a doctor and facing allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse allegations, you need to retain a criminal lawyer immediately who knows how to handle:
- Criminal investigations by law enforcement,
- Civil liability financial issues,
- Medical licensing board procedures,
- Protecting your career and reputation.
Another type of sexual misconduct or harassment involves allegations of a hostile work where coworkers engage is inappropriate touching or crude sexual related jokes that are deemed offensive.
Initial Strategy Meeting with a Criminal Lawyer
Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I've been defending doctors now since the early 1990s. I've handled thousands of sex crime investigations and criminal cases.
A lot of times, these women are trying to take advantage of doctors and the doctor didn't do anything wrong.
It's a set up, and they're basically trying to get money. They're trying to say that the doctor did something wrong, touched them in an inappropriate way, made some sort of sexual comment and then they hire a lawyer.
The next thing you know, your malpractice insurance is involved and they're providing you with a lawyer to defend yourself civilly.
Where I come in is that if you're looking at a potential criminal allegation. That's usually going to involve some sort of impermissible, illegal touching of one of your patients.
What we have you do is, come into the privacy of my office, you give me all the information about what happened. Obviously, I'm going to ask appropriate questions.
Everything is protected by the attorney/client privilege and then we're going to discuss what the next steps are, what you're going to do, and how we're going to handle the situation.
If the police are involved, I will contact them. I will talk to them. If there's a prosecutor already involved, I will talk to them.
I will use my near three decades of experience in defending thousands of cases, to represent you, help you make the right moves, protect your license to practice, protect your reputation, and of course, protect your freedom.
Best Defenses for Doctor Sexual Misconduct Claims
There are many claims of medical sexual misconduct due to the fact most patients simply don't have a full understanding of medical procedures, and often mistake a necessary procedural touch as an inappropriate intimate touch.
We can challenge the credibility of any witnesses along with any relevant evidence. Every case is unique and will require a variety of defense strategies in order to secure a favorable outcome.
Some of the most common defenses used by doctors, healthcare professional, and psychiatrists who have been charged with sexual harassment or medical sexual misconduct include the following:
- Consent for valid medical procedure,
- Blackmail and extortion,
- Medically appropriate behavior,
- False allegation.
We know from experience that medical sexual misconduct cases are a sensitive matter and often complex.
We know how to navigate all aspects of the case, such as dealing with the criminal investigation and prosecution, civil lawsuits, professional license revocation, and how to best protect your reputation and career.
You do have a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions in a criminal case, but you can be assured it will be held against you during the medical license hearing.
So, the first step is to come in and meet with me. The next step is to get the game plan together and then I will execute the game plan on your behalf.
I will let you know exactly what it is you're going to do, what type of moves you're going to make, exactly what I'm going to do on your behalf.
Obviously, the goal is you get no criminal charges filed against you so you can move on with your life and you've got to be more careful in dealing with some of the patients.
Hedding Law Firm is located in Los Angeles County and we offer a free case evaluation.