Additional charges filed against former VA doctor accused of sexually assaulting patients

additional-charges-filed-against-former-va-doctor-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-patients

A former Veterans Affairs doctor arrested last month for sexual assaulting a patient will now face additional charges after a grand jury found multiple instances of improper and abusive behavior towards veterans in his care.

Department of Justice officials announced that a federal grand jury charged Dr. Jonathan Yates, 51, with seven counts of abusive sexual assault. Yates was a doctor of osteopathic medicine who worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, W.Va., from April 2018 to summer 2019.

If convicted, Yates faces the possibility of life in prison.

Justice officials said between September 2018 and February 2019, the six patients — all male veterans — were molested and abused during scheduled medical appointments.

Last month, officials arrested Yates after an Army veteran filed a federal complaint alleging that the doctor incapacitated him by cracking his neck, then sexually abused him when he could not defend himself.

In the new indictment, officials said another veteran was similarly immobilized after Yates used acupuncture needles as part of a treatment. Yates then molested and abused him.

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Six men have so far reported allegations of assault and mistreatment by the former VA physician. Justice Department officials said their investigation into Yates remains open, and any additional patients with reports of improper behavior or care should contact the FBI at 1-800-225-5342.

The sexual assault allegations took place at a separate West Virginia VA hosptial than the one in in the midde of a months-long investigation into the suspicious deaths of at least to 11 patients. That case, centered on former staff at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, still has not resulted in any formal charges.

About

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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