Wednesday, August 26, 2009

British doctor investigated for forcing a teen patient with an intellectual disability into a sex act

From The Daily Mail:

A married doctor forced a teenage girl he was treating for acne and a bad back to perform a sex act on him at his surgery, a medical tribunal has heard.

Dr Steven Ashenford (pictured), 34, also asked the 17-year-old to take off her top and her bra and touched her breasts, it was claimed.

The GP, who has admitted having sex with two other patients, struck up a friendship with the girl - who has learning difficulties - and bought her an iPod for her birthday.

They also met in cafes where they 'snogged and kissed', the hearing was told.

Peter Atherton, counsel for the General Medical Council, said the girl, known as Patient E, gave the doctor advice about his young daughter, who also had a learning disability.

The pair exchanged texts and emails and the doctor told her he was 'going through a rough patch' with his older, Russian wife, the panel heard.

The teenager saw him first for treatment for acne. Mr Atherton said that on the first occasion he asked her to take off her top and hugged her.

The next time, during an appointment to assess her bad back, Dr Ashenford told her she 'turned him on', said Mr Atherton, at which she allegedly admitted she had a 'crush' on him.

The doctor asked her to take off her top and bra and touched her breasts before getting her to perform a sex act on him.

Dr Ashenford had turned off CCTV which recorded what was going on in the consulting room, the panel heard.

The girl told police 'she felt shocked and uncomfortable and couldn't tell him she was in fact scared and embarrassed', said Mr Atherton.

Dr Ashenford later told his bosses that he believed a 17-year-old patient was becoming 'dependent' on him and a month later said he had a 'stalker' who was sending him sexually charged emails.

His bosses were already concerned that the GP, who worked at the Sutton Hill Medical Practice in Telford, Shropshire, was 'too intimate' with patients and risked pushing 'professional boundaries', the panel was told.

When confronted about his behaviour, Dr Ashenford was said to have emailed bosses saying: 'I've gone soft in the head with my divorce.'

Fearing he was a 'sexual predator', they informed police and he was arrested on suspicion of rape in October 2007. No charges were brought.

The inquiry revealed Dr Ashenford had affairs with two other women patients, one at the same time as he was allegedly seeing the teenager.

A five-month affair with Patient D began when she went to see him for treatment for depression.

She later said she had 'come to see Dr Ashenford as her best friend and had fallen in love with him'.

An earlier two-month affair with a patient at another surgery in Telford was said to have begun after they 'embraced and kissed passionately' during a consultation.

The doctor, who as a GP registrar was still undergoing training, had been told to stop confiding in patients about his looming divorce from his 40-year-old wife Svetlana.

Dr Ashenford admits affairs with the two older women but denies having a sexual relationship with the teenager.

He also faces eight allegations of prescribing excessive or inappropriate medication to seven other patients, six of which he admits.

The hearing continues.