Will Be Heard
STEVE CRANE JR is the Attorney that gets you justice for sexual abuse BY DOCTORS and Psychiatrists.
Sexual Abuse by Doctors AND Psychiatrists | Civil Lawsuits
STEVE CRANE HOLDS DOCTORS, PSYCHIATRISTS, THERAPISTS, NURSES, AND OTHERS MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ACCOUNTABLE
When you go to the doctor, psychiatrist, hospital physical therapist, or see other medical professionals, you trust them to treat you with respect as they care for your health. Sexual abuse by a medical professional is a serious violation of trust, medical ethics, and the law. While most doctors are trustworthy professionals, sexual abuse by doctors is a more common problem than most people realize. Victims of doctor sexual abuse deserve justice and have legal options in both criminal and civil courts.
Steve Crane is deeply committed and driven to help survivors recover whatever has been taken from them together with recovery for what they have suffered and lost as a result of sexual abuse and assaultive acts by another as an adult. He has the experience and expertise to help you. He is relentless in his pursuit of being the survivor’s champion.
Why? What lit this intense fire in him?
Early in his life, Steve witnessed pre-teens and teens being bullied, hazed and attacked by other pre-teens and teens. The perpetrators attacked because they could. They had power and dominance, while the victims did not. For each attack, Steve stepped in and stopped it. Steve has always remained vigilant, highly insightful, compassionate, approachable, tolerant, and understanding the pain endured by others.
Steve is personally and professionally driven to help victims and survivors of past and present sex abuse, bullying, hazing, and physical assaults to find safety, recover and put their lives back together. He is truly a comforting light – assuring protection, and safety in addition to winning the financial compensation his clients deserve for their pain and loss.
If you are a victim or survivor of sexual abuse or assault by a medical professional, you should contact experienced and respected attorney Steve Crane. He and his team can assess the facts of your case and help you in a trusted, private and secure manner determine the best course of action to move forward.
To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400.
Doctor and Psychiatrist Sexual Abuse Quick Links
WHAT IS SEXUAL MISCONDUCT BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL?
The Federation of State Medical Boards categorizes sexual misconduct into two categories. (1) “Sexual impropriety” can include watching a patient undress, examining their genital areas without gloves, or making inappropriate comments, and (2) “Sexual violations” occur when a physician engages in physical sexual contact with the patient (such as kissing, sexual intercourse, or touching any sexualized body part for purposes outside an exam), offers drugs in exchange for sexual acts, masturbates in their presence, or encourages a patient to masturbate.
Women make up the vast majority of victims of medical professional (89.1%), which is in line with the proportion of women in the general population involved in rape cases (90%).
In any situation in which a patient is required to undress or reveal a part of themselves to a physician, it is not always to the patient what is medically relevant for the procedure or exam, and what violates the standard of care, such as during an obstetrician appointment. Sadly, in cases where physicians are invested in satisfying their sexual impulses, this physical advantage puts them in a position in which they can blur the lines between what is appropriate behavior and what is not, he said.
Fundamentally, it is simple: a patient comes to an exam room because she is worried about her health and she turns to her doctor to provide her with a solution.
HAVE YOU BEEN TRAUMATIZED AFTER BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED OR ABUSED BY A DOCTOR, PSYCHIATRIST OR DENTIST WHO VIOLATED YOUR TRUST?
When a doctor, psychiatrist or other medical professional crosses a personal boundary, because their hand happened to go into the wrong place, a victim often feels shock or disbelief. You can become paralyzed, confused and even scared. You just do not want to believe that your doctor, the person you trust, was capable.
The fear of coming forward or even mentioning the subject is understandable. There’s a certain insecurity whether “will I be believed?” It always use to be assault victims were put on trial and re-victimized. Recall Jodi Foster in “The Accused.” State laws have changed with the times. In Michigan, the Legislature enacted the Rape Shield law. Rape Shield protects victims. It doesn’t permit defendants to put the victim as trial. The #MeToo movement has been empowering. Without it, it’s likely Harvey Weinstein, and other like him, would have continued their predatory acts. No longer does the public immediately disbelieve victims. That’s a good thing. Confidentiality laws can permit a victim of sexual assault to remain private. There is hope. Things are changing.
Steve Crane can help you too. He represents sexual assault victims and will help you find justice.
Steve is personally and professionally driven to help victims of past and present sexual assault, sexual abuse, bullying, hazing and physical assaults to find safety, to recover and put their lives back together. He is truly a comforting light – assuring protection, and safety in addition to winning the financial compensation his clients deserve for their pain and loss.
HOW COMMON IS SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE BY DOCTORS?
Heinous acts of sexual abuse by doctors is occurring in all 50 states, including rapes by gynecologists, psychiatrists seducing their patients, fondling by various physicians, and pediatricians molesting children. The medical community has grossly mishandled reports of patients sexually assaulted by doctors. This has left many victims feeling helpless. However, many victims have started to fight back by filing lawsuits against doctors who have sexually assaulted them and medical facilities whose negligence allowed the assaults to occur.
- In December of 2018, 17 women sued Columbia University and its affiliated hospitals claiming they failed to intervene when Robert Hadden, MD, a former OB/GYN at New York-Presbyterian, sexually assaulted them during office visits.
- In July of 2019, dozens of men filed similar suits against Ohio State University last summer, alleging that former wrestling team doctor Richard Strauss, MD, sexually abused them while the administration ignored his misconduct.
- In June of 2019, a former longtime gynecologist at the University of Southern California was charged with sexual assault of 16 patients. He assaulted them during their doctor appointments.
- In March of 2020, six women doctors filed a lawsuit against Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital, Inc. alleging that they were all victims of alleged sexual misconduct at the hands of Manuel Lopes Fontes, M.D.
- In October of 2020, four women filed a lawsuit against Portland physician David B. Farley alleging that he performed unnecessary pelvic exams and engaged in sexual battery. Since the filing of the original lawsuits, another 25 women have come forward and joined the lawsuits alleging the same sexual assault and battery. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/oregon/articles/2020-12-07/25-more-women-sign-on-to-sex-abuse-lawsuit-against-ex-doctor (last visited Dec. 26, 2020)
The cases above and many others all follow the infamous case of Larry Nassar, DO, at Michigan State University, in which over 150 victims testified to being sexually abused by the former U.S.A. Gymnastics team doctor, many of whom had been minors at the time.
The Atlanta Constitution recently conducted an extensive study of sexual misconduct in the medical profession. The documents it examined found “disturbing acts of physician sexual abuse in every state. Rapes by OB/GYNs, seductions by psychiatrists, fondling by anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists, and molestations by pediatricians and radiologists.” The Atlanta study further noted that “Victims were babies. Adolescents. Women in their 80s. Drug addicts and jail inmates. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse.”
The report noted that many doctors aren’t disciplined for assaults because victims are “intimidated, confused or embarrassed. They fear that no one will take their word over a doctor’s. Colleagues and nurses stay silent. Hospitals and health care organizations brush off accusations or quietly push doctors out, the investigation found, without reporting them to police or licensing agencies.” Prosecutors plea bargain charges. Medical boards give doctors second chances.
A 2017 study in sexual abuse, conducted by James DuBois, PhD, ScD, of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleague, examined instances where physicians in the U.S. had sexually abused patients found that all 101 cases involved physicians who were men, nearly all of whom were over the age of 39 (92%), working in private practice (94.1%), and had been born in the U.S. (84.2%), “Sexual Violation of Patients by Physicians: A Mixed-Methods, Exploratory Analysis of 101 Cases,” (last visited Dec. 26, 2020)
WHAT TYPES OF DOCTORS ARE COMMITTING SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE IN MICHIGAN?
Sexual assault charges and complaints are not confined to just family doctors or physicians at hospitals and medical practices. Complaints have also been registered against:
- Cosmetic surgeons
- Home health aids
- Nursing home staff
- Psychologists and therapists
Any health care professional, from a specialist to a technician, may wrongfully cross the line between patient care and sexual assault or abuse.
The ways in which physicians and others engage in sexual assault and abuse
There are many ways the doctors, nurses, and others may commit a sexual assault. The most “serious” accusations involve rape and penetration, but any nonconsensual sexual relation – including touching, kissing, touching genitals or breasts – is criminal sexual conduct under South Carolina law. Doctors and other medical professionals often use the same sorts of tactics to assault their patients, including:
- Committing sexual abuse while a patient is under anesthesia
- Performing unnecessary vaginal examinations
- Engaging in acts of self-gratification in front of patients
- Exposing themselves to patients
- Taking photos or videos of examinations of the genital area
- Using physical or chemical restraints to keep a patient from moving
Making lewd or inappropriate comments about patients’ bodies, attempting to seduce patients, or engaging in sexual relationships with patients – even patients who have consented – may all be grounds for legal action.
WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AS A PATIENT WHEN SEEING A DOCTOR?
Patients should understand they have rights when in the doctor’s office:
- Exams should be conducted in private rooms
- Doctors must respond truthfully to all questions you ask
- Patients can ask to be examined by a doctor or professional who is the same sex as the patient
- Patients generally, except for surgeries, have the right to have a relative or a friend in the examining room with them
- Physicians must respect patients’ religious rights – such as avoiding asking to remove religious items – unless medically necessary
- Patients have the right to expect that they will undress in complete privacy and will only be asked to remove the least amount of clothing possible
WHEN ARE MEDICAL PROVIDERS LIABLE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE?
Civil litigation is often necessary in medical sexual assault cases, especially when the medical board doesn’t do its job and discipline physicians accused of assault and misconduct. Individual and class-action lawsuits send a strong message to the medical community that sexual assault can cost doctors and other liable parties millions of dollars, from civil damages and punitive damages.
Sexual assault and abuse in the medical field might also be considered medical malpractice. There are standards for proper behavior that doctors should know based on their profession, medical board ethics, and medical standards. Any medical provider who conducts unnecessary exams of the genital or anal area, or undertakes unwanted touching which is not medically necessary, or sexually assaults a patient should be held accountable for this improper conduct with the patient.
In addition, the medical practice and hospital that employed the health provider may be liable if they failed to properly investigate a physician’s professional background (including any prior misconduct) before hiring them. There are general protocols that hospitals should follow to protect against the likelihood of sexual assault, including a disciplinary process, so they’re not a threat to other patients.
COMMON SIGNS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND ABUSE
Patients who suffer sexual abuse from a physician may experience any or all of the following symptoms and behaviors:
- Anxiety, anger, and depression
- Drug or alcohol dependency
- Fear of being treated by other doctors
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Inability or difficulties with normal intimate relations
- Physical scarring and bleeding
- Sexually transmitted infections
Many patients who suffer sexual assault by a doctor or health professional are never the same after the incident. Some may require long-term mental health support and care.
Contact Steve Crane and Crane Law now and be assured he and his team will discreetly and in full confidence discuss your case.
To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call us at (833) 855-4400.
CONSENSUAL SEX WITH PATIENTS IS WRONG AND NOT LEGAL!
Generally, doctors who wish to have a consensual and romantic relationship with a patient should immediately recommend that the patient be treated by another doctor, so there’s no doubt the patient is getting the best care possible, and to avoid any violations of ethics laws.
Even when both parties consent to a relationship, it is not healthy for patients to date their doctors for many reasons, including:
- A patient, especially mental health patients working with psychologists, may believe that sexual relations or contact is part of their therapy. This violates the concept of informed consent.
- Patients need their doctors to give an objective analysis of their condition and their prognosis. Romantic medical partners may be more likely to hide negative news.
- Patients are less likely to get a second medical opinion if they’re involved with their physician or healthcare professional.
Romantic relationships between doctors and patients generally violate medical society protocols at the local, state, and federal levels. This will subject any medical professional to liability for any relationship with a patient.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED OR ABUSED BY MY DOCTOR?
“Say something.” Crimes are crimes, no matter who commits them. Crimes by doctors, psychiatrists and other medical professionals need to be reported to and investigated by and prosecuted.
As the survivor or victim of assault, sexual battery or even harassment take immediate steps toward protecting yourself.
Contact the police! If the abuse was physical and you wish to get a forensic medical examination done, you can ask to speak with a police officer directly from the hospital. Should you wish to pursue legal action, the police can forward your case to the county prosecutor’s office. If there is enough evidence to convict the individual perpetrator “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the county prosecutor will likely press criminal charges, resulting in arrest, possible prison time, fines paid to the state, probation, and registration as a sex offender.
Involving the police can create an official record of the sex crime, as well as potentially lead to the arrest of the perpetrator. The police can help you build your case by gathering evidence, interviewing suspects and collecting photographs.
Keep a journal of events. Many things are uncomfortable things are happening very quickly. A journal can help you remember and recall events as they happened.
Contact Steve Crane at Crane Law. He will help you in the psychological and emotional recovery. He will seek financial redress for the harm suffered. Victims and survivors of sexual assault may suffer losses in productivity, as well as enjoyment in life.
Filing a civil lawsuit against those who were, directly and indirectly, responsible for the abuse holds these parties accountable and works to provide victims with the financial security needed to get the help they deserve.
Confidentiality and Privacy when filing a sexual abuse civil lawsuit
A child is entitled to privacy under State and Federal Law. Michigan Courts will protect your right to file as a “Jane or John Doe” to permit a child to maintain anonymity and privacy while still allowing you to pursue justice.
An adult is entitled to privacy too. When possible, Steve will file your case as “Jane or John Doe.” This can keep your identity private, while still allowing you to pursue the deserved justice.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse or assault, it is important that you have legal counsel that understands and has the compassion to address the damages you have suffered emotionally and physically.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by speaking with Steve Crane and his team regarding your safety, good name, and legal options. Steve has helped many victims of sexual assault and abuse obtain substantial recoveries when they were abused.
Contact Steve Crane now and be assured he will discreetly and in full confidence discuss your case. To schedule a discrete and confidential consultation about your matter, email or call him at (833) 855-4400.
The Deadline for filing a sexual abuse civil lawsuit
The “statute of limitations” is a term used by courts to describe the maximum amount of time plaintiffs can wait before bringing a lawsuit. This time limit is set by state law and is intended to promote fairness and keep old cases from clogging the courts. In publication of private facts cases, the statute of limitations ordinarily runs from the date of first publication of the offending facts.
Because Michigan’s Wrongful Death Act does not include a statute of limitations, the statute of limitations for the underlying cause of action (i.e., negligence) applies. In the case of wrongful death actions based on general negligence, the statute of limitations the general 3-year statute of limitations for injury to person or property when reviewing. See Michigan Compiled Law 600.5805(2).
The statute of limitations varies for sexual abuse (which includes criminal sexual conduct and the broom-sticking of one’s rectum) and when the victim is a minor.
Michigan Compiled Law 600.5851b(1)(a) allows children (minors) until age 28 to file a civil lawsuit, or under section 5851b(1)(b), within three years of discovering the harm, whichever is later. See Michigan Compiled Law 600.5851b(1)(b).
MCL 600.5805(6) affords adult victims 10 years from the most recent incident of sexual abuse to bring a case against the abuser.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this blog is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this blog or on this website should be construed as legal advice from Crane Law PLLC or Steve Crane, Esq. Neither your receipt of information from this website nor your use of this website to contact Crane Law PLLC or Steve Crane, Esq. creates an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm or any of its lawyers. No reader of this website should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this website without seeking the appropriate legal advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s jurisdiction.