A 52-year-old man has been accused of touching female subjects inappropriately during sleep studies he was conducting at locations in New Port Richey and Zephyrhills, according to New Port Richey Police.
Officers arrested the man on Tuesday. He was charged with one count of sexual battery and one count of battery.
Investigators said the man was previously employed as a technician at the locations where the sleep studies were conducted. Female victims alleged that he touched them inappropriately during studies he was administering.
A visit to the doctor, dentist, a sleep study therapist, or any other medical professional should always be a safe environment. You are trusting someone with your general physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. You should always be able to trust the medical professional working with you, and they should treat you with respect at all times. Any type of medical professional who compromises the patient-doctor trust through what is called sexual medical malpractice is violating the law, not to mention medical. Any sexual abuse should be reported immediately, so that the person can be removed from the institution they are employed at. If you have survived a sexual assault from a medical professional, we urge you to speak with our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible so that we can begin helping you pursue civil action.
While it is perfectly normal for doctors and other medical personnel to touch patients during an exam, fondling or lingering touches are not normal. Sadly, because medical professionals are held in high esteem it is difficult for patients to discern what is normal and what is not. When your doctor instructs you to do something, you trust that they have your wellbeing in mind. It is not unheard of for medical professionals to use this trust to manipulate patients for their own sexual pleasure.
During an exam, procedure or treatment you have certain rights. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, you should always speak up and end the examination. Once you let the healthcare professional performing the exam know that you are uncomfortable, they should stop right away. You also have the following rights:
- Requesting to have someone in the room. You are certainly entitled to have someone else in the room with you, such as a nurse, friend, or family member.
- Expectation of privacy. If you need to undress for the exam, you should have the privacy to do so. Doctors and nurses should not be in the room while you change before or after the exam. Healthcare professionals should conduct exams private rooms or rooms. If you do have to undress, you should only have to undress the body parts that are necessary for the examination, and you shouldn’t need to stay undressed for long before or after the exam.
- Requesting a medical professional of the same sex. It is entirely acceptable for you to ask for a healthcare professional who is the same sex as you.
- Getting answers to your questions. You always have the right to question what the medical professional is doing, and they must respect your inquisitions and answer you truthfully.
- Respect for your religion. You are entitled to wear religious jewelry or garments, unless they stop you from receiving appropriate care.
If a doctor invades your privacy or makes you uncomfortable during your exam, our sexual abuse lawyers can help. We can investigate your medical professional’s background and see if other victims have accused this person of sexual medical malpractice before. We take these claims very seriously and will conduct a thorough investigation without delay.
Sometimes we find that there have been other reports of inappropriate sexual behavior, and the hospitals or other institutions that employ your abuser may still allow your abuser to retain their position. When this happens, these institutions are now involved and can be held liable for failing to protect you and your peers.
Inappropriate, unwanted or coercive sexual advances from a trusted healthcare professional can be violent in nature or extremely manipulative. You can suffer traumatic physical and mental harm. We want you to know that you don’t have to go through it alone. Our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are ready to help you through this difficult time in your life.
According to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), nearly 54 percent of sexual assaults go unreported to the police. Furthermore, sexual assault or abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the United States. Even worse, of the cases reported to police that make it to criminal trials, only 3 percent of abusers actually end up in jail.
These low numbers can be attributed to victims feeling ashamed or embarrassed so they do not report the injustice done to them. Other times, victims feel like no one will believe them, especially if their abuser is in a high power position, like a doctor or any other medical professional.