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'Despicable' Doctor Who Molested Patients At Veterans Affairs Hospital Gets 25-Year Prison Sentence

Osteopath Jonathan Yates carried out “hideous crimes in a hospital room, which should be a sanctuary for patients,” prosecutors said.

By Dorian Geiger
Va. Doctor Gets 25-Year Prison Sentence For Molesting Patients

A former Virginia military doctor who pleaded guilty in 2020 to sexually abusing several patients was sentenced to 25 years behind bars on Monday.

Jonathan Yates, 52, previously admitted to molesting at least three patients at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Beckley, West Virginia. He pleaded guilty to three felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law on Sept. 17, 2020.

Prosecutors described Yates’ actions as a “despicable betrayal of his oath.” 

“The sentence today reflects the seriousness of this defendant’s misconduct,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gregory B. Friel said in a statement. “He used his specialized medical knowledge and expertise to sexually abuse his own patients. He has now been held accountable.”

Yates targeted veteran patients who had come to him for the purpose of managing chronic pain through “osteopathic manipulative therapy.”

The former physician allegedly “rubbed the genitals” of two veterans and “digitally penetrated” a third victim’s rectum “under the guise of legitimate medicine,” plea documents state. 

“Yates committed hideous crimes in a hospital room, which should be a sanctuary for patients,” FBI Special Agent Michael Christman said. “The facts of this case are disgusting and these patients and their families deserved better care. While today’s sentence won’t take away what happened to these patients who dedicated their lives in service to our nation, Yates will never be able to hurt anyone again. Hopefully, this will serve as justice for his victims.” 

Yates also surrendered his medical license as part of the plea agreement.

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