Earlier this month, the criminal case was dismissed against an Edmond doctor accused of sexual battery of employees and patients. The court dismissed the case against Medhat Michael after he voluntarily surrendered his license to practice medicine in Oklahoma before it was revoked by the state medical board. Michael still faces several civil lawsuits filed by his alleged victims. He is not alone.
Last week, criminal charges of rape by instrumentation and sexual battery were filed against an Oklahoma City doctor accused of sexually assaulting two patients during exams.
One patient says that Dr. John A. Fuller of the Oklahoma Pain Center in Oklahoma City sexually assaulted her in December 2011. In a civil lawsuit the patient filed against the doctor, she claims that sought treatment from Dr. Fuller "specifically for depression, anxiety and weight gain." She says that the doctor conducted a gynecological exam and made inappropriate sexual comments while inserting his fingers into her vagina. Dr. Fuller is charged with rape by instrumentation for this alleged incident.
Another patient says she visited Dr. Fuller in July 2013 for pain management. During the visit, she says, he put his hand down her shorts and made sexually suggestive comments about her breasts.
When the patient reported the incident to police, the investigating officer contacted the Oklahoma Medical Board. According to the affidavit, the state licensing board noted that it had received six complaints about Dr. Fuller dating back to 2001. He also settled a medical negligence lawsuit in 2002. However, the Oklahoma Medical Board website shows that no disciplinary action has been taken against the physician.
Sexual battery and rape by instrumentation are serious sex crimes, classified as Level 3 sex offenses requiring lifetime sex offender registration in Oklahoma.
Sexual battery is defined as intentional "lewd and lascivious" physical contact with another person without that person's consent. While the definition is somewhat vague, it generally pertains to intentional, non-consensual touching of a person's body, breasts, or genitals for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator. It is a felony sex crime punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Rape by instrumentation is defined as vaginal or anal penetration that does not amount to sexual intercourse. This can be achieved through an object or another body part, such as fingers. Rape by instrumentation is prosecuted in the same manner as rape and carries the same consequences of conviction. If rape by instrumentation results in serious bodily harm, or if the victim is under the age of 14, the offense is prosecuted as first degree rape. In all other cases, it is prosecuted in the second degree. First degree rape or rape by instrumentation is punishable by five years to life in prison. The maximum penalty for second degree rape or rape by instrumentation is 15 years in prison. In both cases, a person convicted of rape by instrumentation must register as an Oklahoma Sex Offender every 90 days for life.