|VA doctor indicted for sexually assaulting multiple patients|
Defense News & Army Times32 day(s) ago
A physician working at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Georgia was indicted this week for sexually assaulting four female patients over a 12-month period, Justice Department officials announced on May 4. Dr. Rajesh Motibhai Patel, 68, stands charged with multiple accounts of patient abuse and unwanted sexual contact. He previously provided primary care services at the Joseph Maxwell Cleland Atlanta VA Medical Center. Investigators said the offenses occurred in 2019 and 2020, but that other patients may have been similarly victimized by the doctor. “Patel allegedly sexually abused his female patients and violated his oath to do no harm to patients under his care,” U.S. Attorney Ryan Buchanan said in a statement. In a statement, VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes called Patel’s alleged crimes “horrific and unacceptable” and said the department has been cooperating with law enforcement since the accusations were first uncovered. “As soon as VA learned of these allegations, we removed this clinician from patient care and reassigned him to a role that had no patient interaction,” he said. “”Whenever a patient comes to VA, they deserve to know that they will be treated with care, compassion, and respect.” The department has also promised victims will receive “the care and support they need” as the investigation continues. VA officials, the VA Office of Inspector General and local law enforcement are continuing to investigate other possible crimes by Patel. Patel could not be reached at the time of publication for comment. Individuals who may have also been assaulted by Patel can contact the Inspector General’s tip line at (770) 758-6646. 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.