OKC Neurologist Accused of Sexual Battery11-Mar-2016
An Oklahoma City physician was arrested this week after a patient accused him of sexually assaulting her during an office visit last October. Police arrested neurologist Dr. Kersi Bharucha at his office after the woman presented them with a recording which purports to contain an admission to the act by Dr. Bharucha.
The woman told police that during an appointment in October, the neurologist grabbed her by the wrist and forced her to touch his genitals over his clothing. She accuses him of rubbing her hand over his genitals while carrying on with the exam and asking medical questions as if nothing had happened. The patient returned to Dr. Bharucha for a follow-up visit in February, and at that time, she recorded the visit.
The neurologist allegedly told the woman, "I don't know why I did that," before apologizing and asking her if they could just forget the incident. The woman then took the tape recording of the second visit to police, who obtained an arrest warrant for the doctor.
Bharucha was arrested at his office during office hours on Thursday. Patients in the waiting room witnessed the arrest.
The physician was arrested on a sexual battery complaint, but as of this writing, formal charges have not been filed in the case. He was jailed overnight Thursday and released Friday morning on $5,000 bond.
According to OU Physicians, with whom Dr. Bharucha works, the neurologist has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the claims against the doctor. Prior to this incident, Bharucha has not been disciplined by the Oklahoma State Medical Board.
Oklahoma law defines sexual battery in 21 O.S. § 1123 as follows:
"Sexual battery" shall mean the intentional touching, mauling or feeling of the body or private parts of any person sixteen (16) years of age or older, in a lewd and lascivious manner:
1. Without the consent of that person;
2. When committed by a state, county, municipal or political subdivision employee or a contractor or an employee of a contractor of the state, a county, a municipality or political subdivision of this state upon a person who is under the legal custody, supervision or authority of a state agency, a county, a municipality or a political subdivision of this state;
3. When committed upon a person who is at least sixteen (16) years of age and is less than twenty (20) years of age and is a student, or in the legal custody or supervision of any public or private elementary or secondary school, or technology center school, by a person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older and is an employee of the same school system that the victim attends; or
4. When committed upon a person who is nineteen (19) years of age or younger and is in the legal custody of a state agency, federal agency or a tribal court, by a foster parent or foster parent applicant.
Sexual battery is a felony sex crime that is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and lifetime sex offender registration.
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