Physical Therapist’s License Suspended for Fondling Patients
Those who are in pain due to an injury or chronic medical condition trust their physical therapists to help them feel better. Because physical therapists touch their patients’ bodies to massage them and stretch muscles, this requires a high level of trust and ethics. Should a physical therapist take advantage of his or her patients, the punishment could be license suspension or revocation.
A physical therapist in Pennsylvania is facing license suspension after being accused of fondling two male patients. The 39-year-old male therapist has been charged with 17 counts of indecent assault—14 counts for one man and three counts for another. This crime is a second degree misdemeanor, with the therapist facing a $5,000 fine and two years of prison for each count. Bail has not been set yet.
The man worked at a nursing home between September 2017 and February 2018. During that time, he saw as many as 10 patients per day. He allegedly fondled two male patients during that time. He would touch their genitals while changing their pants—even though there was no valid reason for the physical therapist to take off the men’s pants.
One of the male patients had his leg amputated above the knee. He claims that the assaults were quick and planned. To prevent future assaults, he would keep his leg up to avoid having the therapist take off his pants. The patient didn’t report the assaults at first because he didn’t want to cause problems that would affect his treatment. He eventually grew tired of the assaults and claimed that the therapist is a predator.
The second patient experienced the same situation. The physical therapist would always have reasons why the patient needed to take off his pants. The therapist would then touch the man’s genitals and make inappropriate comments about them.
At first, the physical therapist denied touching the patients inappropriately. However, while he was questioned by police on February 27, he admitted to the inappropriate touching. He also claimed that he was struggling with the sexuality and was exploring with patients. He regrets using his position to satisfy his curiosity and did not intend for the patients to feel abused.
On March 15, the physical therapist’s license was temporarily suspended by the state board. A hearing will occur soon to determine if the suspension should remain temporary or become permanent. The suspension order alleges that the therapist is a danger to public health and safety.
Keep Your License with Help From a Tampa Physical Therapist License Lawyer
Physical therapists in Florida must abide by high levels of ethics at all time. They are often exposed to patients’ bodies, and they must resist the urge to touch these bodies in an inappropriate manner.
If you are a Florida physical therapist facing license suspension due to complaints of unethical behavior, seek legal help right away. The Law Offices of David P. Rankin, P.A. has 30 years of experience representing physical therapists and other licensed professionals. Contact my office for a consultation by calling (813) 968-6633.