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(NEW YORK POST) – A jury in Texas has convicted a former doctor accused of raping a patient who was hospitalized for an asthma attack in 2013.
Attorneys for Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, admitted that the doctor had sex with a patient, but claimed that the encounter was consensual. That version of events, however, didn’t move a jury of five women and seven men, who convicted the former Baylor College of Medicine physician on Thursday, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The woman, then 27, told the newspaper in 2015 that an unknown doctor entered her room at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston in the middle of the night and touched her chest before returning to her room later to rape her. The mother of two, originally from South America, said she repeatedly pressed a call button attached to her bed to summon help, but the device had been unplugged, according to a police report.
Two years later, Sheikh was identified as the alleged rapist after a review of surveillance video and ID card logs showed that the doctor accessed the woman’s floor 12 times on the night of the attack even though she wasn’t his patient.
The woman, now 32, testified in court this week that the sexual assault left her life unrecognizable and led to the end of her marriage.
Sheikh, a father of four, originally from India, lost his position at the Baylor College of Medicine and saw his license revoked by the Texas Medical Board due to a “continuing threat to public welfare,” according to the Chronicle.
Calls seeking additional comment from a spokesman for the medical board were not immediately returned Friday.
Hospital and college officials, meanwhile, were cleared of liability by a jury in Harris County in a 2016 civil lawsuit.
Sheikh’s attorney, according to the newspaper, questioned the woman’s credibility during trial, including whether she posted sexually charged photos on social media. The woman’s cellphone indicated she sent many texts and phone calls while in the hospital, suggesting she was alert and aware of her surroundings. She also had sexual relations with her husband during the first night of her hospital stay, DNA evidence showed, meaning she was not incapacitated while hospitalized, according to Sheikh’s attorney.
While Sheikh clearly violated medical ethics, the woman seduced him in an effort to make her husband jealous and later win a lawsuit, according to the defense attorney.
Sheikh, meanwhile, testified that the woman placed his hand on her breasts as he conducted a chest exam. She later touched his genitals when he returned before shifting her body to the edge of the gurney, indicating she wanted to take things further, he testified.
“It immediately sunk in that something terrible had happened, and I was scared for myself,” Sheikh testified. “You’re not supposed to have sex with a patient. That’s part of medical ethics.”
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