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Here’s Some Terrible News: Doctors Are Getting Away With Rape

As a general rule, people don’t naturally trust strangers – we’re raised to keep people at arm’s length until we get to know them better. But there’s one notable exception to this rule: doctors.

We tend to trust doctors and other medical providers far more quickly than the average stranger we encounter, primarily because we don’t have a choice. If there’s something wrong with us, we want to get better, and doctors can make that happen.

Unfortunately, doctors are also human beings, which means they’re just as susceptible to deeply horrifying behavior as the guy walking behind you on the street late at night. Take, for example, Ryan Williams.

Williams, a colorectal surgeon, has been accused by two different women of anally raping them – one in 2008, one in 2009 – while he worked at the Cleveland Clinic. USA Today recounts the 2008 accusation:

“Patient Lachelle Duncan was receiving a rectal exam from Williams, the [police] report said, when she jumped up and exclaimed the doctor had inserted his penis into her rectum and that she saw him holding it in his hand.” Duncan ran out of the room and called the police. A rape kit was performed but was ruled inconclusive. And, as is sadly common in cases such as this, no criminal prosecution ever took place.

“Wait,” you might be thinking, “how was he still working at the Cleveland Clinic after being accused of rape by a patient?” Well, that’s where it gets even worse. Duncan sued Williams and the Cleveland Clinic, and the two parties reached a confidential settlement. Per the terms of the confidential settlement, Duncan was prohibited from discussing her assault, and rather than fire Williams – and, by extension, explain why they fired him – the Cleveland Clinic kept him on.

So it happened again the next year. This time, Williams drugged the patient. Same lawsuit, same confidential settlement, same absence of justice.

Williams eventually left the Cleveland Clinic of his own volition, never having faced any professional or legal consequences for his actions; in fact, it wasn’t until his new employer learned of the complaints against him that he was placed on leave.

The whole story is gut-wrenching; I suggest checking it out and then, I don’t know, going home and calling it a day because the world is a terrible place.

[via USA Today]

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