Houston, August 20: An Indian-American doctor from Texas, who was convicted of raping a sedated patient will no longer serve prison time, and will instead be spending 10 years of probation time. Jurors convicted Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, a former physician at Baylor College of Medicine of second degree sexual assault after a trial ended last week.
The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, but the Texas jury sentenced Sheikh to 10 years of probation. Unlike other states, Texas grants juries the power to set criminal punishments. The Texas Medical Board revoked his license in 2015 after they found he was a "continuing threat to public welfare." He had left the hospital after that. Indian Man Who Sexually Assaulted Sleeping Woman on a US Flight to Be Deported to India Once Out of Jail
Sheikh was working the night shift at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital in 2013 when a woman, previously identified as Laura, was admitted for shortness of breath and wheezing. She was in the hospital overnight and sedated when Sheikh came to her room several times during the night and sexually assaulted her. Laura said she attempted to get help from a nurse, but the call button wouldn't work. DNA evidence collected from a rape kit matched the DNA sample of the guilty doctor's cheek swab. But it took two years for charges to be filed against Sheikh.
According to a Daily Mail report, Sheikh's attorney attempted to question Laura's credibility during the trial by suggesting that she was alert and aware of her surroundings. The proof of lengthy text message conversation and phone calls, while she was in the hospital were proof that she was more alert than what she claimed. Reportedly, the woman placed the doctor's hand on her breasts, as he conducted a chest examination and he also touched his genitals and took off her underwear.
Earlier this year, An Indian-American doctor couple in Washington was indicted on charges of committing health care fraud by performing unnecessary medical tests and procedures on patients to get payouts from insurance companies.
(With inputs from PTI)