Monthly Archives: April 2013

State commission finds merit in complaint against psychiatrist John Matt Dorn aka James Hitchcock Ochiltree

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A Bath woman has reasonable grounds to claim that she was subject to a hostile environment in public accommodations when her therapist allegedly subjected her to sexual comments and unwelcome touching, according to an investigator with the Maine Human Rights Commission. The counselor is denying his former patient’s allegations.

The psychiatrist in question, Dr. John Matt Dorn of Brunswick — who now goes by the name James Hitchcock Ochiltree — had his license suspended in April 2011 after the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine determined in a separate matter that his practice of medicine presented threats to his patients’ safety.

In the matter before the Maine Human Rights Commission, a patient of Dorn’s named Renee Mayer alleged in a complaint filed in June 2011 that the psychiatrist began sexually harassing her shortly after she began individual and marriage therapy sessions with him in October 2009. Some of the objectionable behavior including long, unwanted hugs, other touches and sexual comments, according to the April 19 report by investigator Robert Beauchesne.

Mayer said that over the months until she stopped seeing him for good in December 2010, he told her about his sexual prowess, asked when she would go to bed with him and made other overtures — including putting his hand between her thighs and telling her he could please her anyway she wanted.

Mayer said she ended individual counseling sessions with Dorn in September 2010, but continued to see him with her husband until that December, when the psychiatrist told him in a joint session that he had “tried several times to seduce your wife and she wouldn’t have anything to do with me,” according to the complaint.

After that session, Mayer and her husband both quit seeing Dorn for counseling. She said that Dorn then called her several times to ask if she was planning to press charges, and also sent her a package with quotes from scripture about the sanctity of marriage and a picture of Dorn with his wife. She believed this was the psychiatrist’s attempt to discourage her from filing charges against him.

Mayer filed her complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission a month after Dorn’s medical license was revoked.

In the psychiatrist’s response to Mayer’s complaint, he said that at no time was there inappropriate contact or communications between them, and that he did not send the photograph of him with his wife.

“While Dr. Dorn acknowledges that he hugged all of his patients as a gesture of support and comfort, he was not sexually aroused by these hugs, as the complainant has alleged,” Beauchesne wrote. “While Dr. Dorn also acknowledges that he sent scripture to the complainant on one occasion, this was consistent with his standard practice of incorporating religion into treatment when his patients expressed a desire for him to do so.”

Additionally, the psychiatrist said that Mayer’s allegations do not constitute a charge of discrimination.

“She contends that Dr. Dorn violated personal and professional boundaries in the context of their physician-patient relationship. This is not a ‘denial of public accommodation’ based upon the complainant’s sex,” the investigator wrote about Dorn’s response. “In sum, the allegations made by the complainant are untrue. However, even if they were true, they do not constitute evidence of discrimination.”

In his analysis of the complaint, Beauchesne wrote that in order to find that Mayer’s case has “reasonable grounds” of prevailing in a civil court case, the commission must determine that there is “a fair preponderance of evidence” to prove unlawful discrimination.

He said that both Dorn and Mayer cannot be telling the truth about what happened in his office, and that because of the “he said, she said,” nature of the case, the parties’ credibility is crucial. And while Mayer was willing to participate in a fact-finding conference to have her credibility assessed, Dorn was not, Beauchesne wrote. The psychiatrist also provided no explanation of how Mayer would have received a photograph of him and his wife if he never sent it.

“The complainant is not required to prove that she was denied any and all treatment in order to establish that she was denied equal access to a public accommodation,” he wrote. “The fact that the complainant may have received adequate or even exceptional psychiatric treatment does not alter the fact that she was entitled to receive such services without being subjected to unwelcome inappropriate touching and/or sexual comments.”

If the commission agrees and finds reasonable grounds on the part of Mayer, the commission then offers mediation to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not settled, she can then sue in Superior Court.

Source: Abigail Curtis, “Investigator says woman’s claims of sexual harassment against former psychiatrist have merit,” Bangor Daily News,” April 27, 2013.

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Psychiatrist Abdullahi Mohamed sentenced to year in jail for sex abuse of patients

A former psychiatrist who prac­ticed in Monroe was sentenced Thursday to a year in jail for sexually assaulting patients and also has been named in addi­tional civil lawsuits, with the alleged victims seeking $10 million in damages.

Dr. Abdullahi A. Mohamed, 58, will spend the next year in jail after he was sentenced by Monroe County Circuit Judge Michael A. Weipert. In addition to imprisonment, Judge Weipert sen­tenced Dr. Mohamed to five years of probation and ordered that he no longer can practice medicine. The defendant also must stay away from the victims.

In January, Dr. Mohamed, whose license remains active through 2015 according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Reg­ulatory Affairs, pleaded no contest to three counts of criminal sexual conduct-fourth degree involving a mental health professional.

Up to nine women have com­plained to authorities that the psy­chiatrist took advantage of them while they were under his care. A Newport woman filed a civil law­suit last summer in Wayne County Circuit Court seeking $10 million.

Since then, two others filed suits in Monroe County Circuit Court seeking the same amount in dam­ages. All three plaintiffs are being represented by the same attorney, Gregory J. Rohl of Novi.

Earlier this month, a 48- year­old LaSalle woman claimed in her 13- page suit that Dr. Mohamed touched her sexually on six dif­ferent occasions between January and May, 2012. During one visit, the defendant allegedly “ lifted up her shirt and inappropriately hugged and kissed the plaintiff,” the lawsuit read.

The psychiatrist reportedly told her he had sexually explicit dreams about her, then locked her inside his office. When she resisted his advances, the lawsuit claims, he told her, “Just wait. I will get you.”

In the other lawsuit filed by a 35- year- old Temperance woman, it was alleged that the defendant attempted to sexually assault the victim but she resisted. On another occasion, however, he was accused of lifting up her shirt and rubbing her breasts.

In both Monroe suits, the plain­tiffs are seeking damages for emo­tional distress, sexual assault, fright and shock and other issues. The women claimed in court and in legal papers that they felt vul­nerable during the assaults and were prescribed high doses of po­tent medications.

Also named in the civil suits were the Progressive Guidance Center of Monroe, 15502 S. Telegraph Rd.; Mercy Memorial Hospital where Dr. Mohamed was a staff physi­cian until his termination, and the Family Health Clinic, 700 Stewart Rd., where he had an office.

Dr. Mohamed’s criminal attor­ney, Barry A. Resnick of Farming­ton Hills, said in court Thursday that his client has lost everything, including his license to practice, his home and his car.

Monroe County Assistant Pros­ecutor Amara Hunter said several victims spoke during the sentenc­ing hearing describing their emo­tional and physical distress caused by the incidents. Dr. Mohamed said nothing in court.

Source: “Monroe Doctor Sentenced In Sexual Assaults,” Monroe News, March 22, 2013.

Ontario psychiatrist now facing 18 counts of sexual assault

London (Ontario) police have charged Stanley Dobrowolski with an additional 16 counts of sexual assault.

The local psychiatrist, arrested and charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of voyeurism in November, was again arrested by the London Police Service on Monday.

After conducting a media blitz in January, police saw 19 women come forward saying they were also assaulted by Dobrowolski. Information from these women have led to the second arrest.

Dobrowolski is now facing a total to 18 counts of sexual assault, 10 counts of voyeurism, 12 counts of breach of court order, one count of child exploitation, one count of production of child pornography, and one count of possession of child porn.

The child-related charges refer to incidents involving a 17-year-old female.

Police have also referred 28 cases of potential professional misconduct to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

More to come.

Source: John Matisz, “London psychiatrist now facing 18 counts of sexual assault,” Metro London, April 15, 2013.

State suspends license of psychiatrist Ali Salim, indicted in rape, murder of pregnant woman

On April 10, 2013, the Medical Board of Ohio suspended the license of psychiatrist Ali Salim.

Salim was arrested on or about February 20, 2013 following an indictment in the Court of Common Pleas, Delaware County, Ohio, charging him with two counts of murder, rape, felonious assault, corrupting another with drugs, kidnapping, two counts of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

News reports state that Salim is accused of injecting a 23-year-old pregnant woman with a lethal dose of heroin and then “doing ‘inhumane’ things to her corpse.” The woman had answered a Craigslist ad that Salim had placed, allegedly for housecleaning.

Salim has pleaded not guilty on all charges and was released from custody on February 25 on conditions which include house arrest and GPS monitoring.

Salim has declined to provide the Board with certain factual information concerning the pending criminal matter against him.