DA: New bill will help prosecute sexual assault claims against doctors

BOSTON — Doctors accused of sexual assault could soon face prosecution more frequently as lawmakers set out to close a legal loophole.

Prosecutors say the loophole has been shielding doctors accused of sexual assault from prosecution.

As first reported in May, 25 Investigates found sexual assault cases against doctors weren't moving forward.

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Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan says the loophole surrounds the word ‘consent.’ she argues under current law, patients inadvertently ‘consent’ to inappropriate touching if they believed or were told it was part of the medical process.

“It is frustrating for us. It is even more frustrating for those who know something has happened to them. They come to us because they say they've been violated and then we have to tell them we cannot ethically go forward," said Ryan told Boston 25 earlier this year.

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She is among those presenting the bill ‘Criminalizing Sexual Assault by Fraud by a Medical Professional’ to the judiciary committee on Tuesday.

Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow) filed H.2289 and will also testify on its behalf.

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