Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Answers: How Do I Defend My Medical License from a False Sex Assault Claim?

Given the rise of the “#metoo” era, I am contacted by physicians concerned about false allegations of sexual assault. As a physician, your license to practice in Kansas or Missouri is the product of a lifetime of education and hard work, so it is terrifying to think that a false misconduct allegation could quickly take your livelihood away. Physicians are particularly vulnerable to this sort of claim, as they frequently see patients privately, examine patients’ genitalia, and often see patients in situations requiring the patient to be at least partially undressed. When you couple those facts with the recent controversy regarding a physician’s outrageous abuse of gymnasts who sought his treatment at Michigan State University and patients’ varying degrees of mental stability, it is not hard to imagine how false claims arise.

If you are physician in Kansas or Missouri facing professional discipline, you must avoid going through the administrative hearing alone. Instead, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with the administrative process required to defend you. Your career is simply worth too much to go it alone.

Expert defense of your license in Kansas or Missouri is the key to continuing your entire career. Without it, you stand to lose your practice, your financial security and your reputation.

Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Matters

There is a significant difference between criminal, civil, and administrative investigations into an allegation of sexual assault.  The problem is that they all overlap and influence each other, so you need an attorney to make sure that a success in one venue does not have the unintended consequence of harming you in another.

A criminal case is investigated by the police and prosecuted by the district attorney or prosecutor. If you have watched crime shows on television, you are familiar with this sort of investigation. Ultimately, a criminal investigation for sexual assault has penalties that include jail and fines. To prove a criminal case, the district attorney must prove his or her case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

A civil case is a lawsuit between two individuals. A former patient could sue you and he or she would have an attorney that would present the case on their behalf. A civil case has a lower standard of proof, and a plaintiff only has to prove sexual assault “by a preponderance of the evidence” or just over 50%. Penalties are financial.

An administrative case is a hybrid of criminal and civil matters. It is brought by the state and prosecuted by an attorney general.  The case uses “preponderance” standard, but the penalties are financial and the suspension or revocation of a medical license.

The Problem When Criminal, Civil, or Administrative Matters Overlap

Often, when a physician is facing either a criminal, civil, or administrative investigation, the inquiry will result in one of the other processes being triggered as well.  You likely have heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” if you have ever watched a crime drama. The same is true here and can be disastrous if not heeded.

For example, imagine a former patient filed criminal charges against her doctor for sexual assault. Sexual assault is commonly defined as using force or coercion to engage non-consensual sexual intercourse with another person. In the course of the police investigation, the doctor may defend himself by saying that while he did have sex with the patient in his office, it was consensual. Follow up visits from the patient could may establish that she was not afraid of the doctor and wanted to continue the relationship.

Imagine that the prosecutor believed the physician above and dropped the charges. While that is a good outcome in the criminal case, it may be extremely problematic in ensuing action to suspend the physician’s license. The doctor’s admission to consensual sex with a patient under his care may be used against him in the administrative matter and may lead to a suspension, revocation, or other penalty. The admission may also come back to haunt the physician if the patient either sues him for sexual assault civilly, which has a lower burden of proof, or for some sort of infliction of emotional harm.

Accordingly, you need to understand that criminal, civil, and administrative processes all overlap in ways that may not be intuitive. If you are facing discipline in any one of these areas, you need expert help from a licensing attorney immediately.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

You deserve to be practicing medicine without the fear. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through any of these processes can mean the difference between getting back to your practice quickly and a suspension or revocation.

If you are a physician in Kansas or Missouri and are worried about misconduct costing you your career, call attorney Sanger now.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend your livelihood and career. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with physician licensing issues.