25 Investigates: Local orthopedic surgeon accused of sexual assault facing criminal charges

WOBURN, Mass. — 25 Investigates has learned a man who worked as an orthopedic surgeon in Woburn for years is now facing criminal charges including rape and indecent assault and battery.

Boston 25 Investigative Reporter Kerry Kavanaugh started hearing from alleged victims of Doctor James DeVellis back in 2016. Those victims, teenage boys, also shared their complaints with the State Medical Board when they recalled inappropriate touching during their visits with Dr. Devellis.

Now six years later, 25 Investigates has learned Devellis has been indicted by a Grand Jury in Middlesex County. DeVellis is set to be arraigned on December 21st.

The state is saying very little about the allegations that led to these charges, but they did say it is not connected to conduct during a medical procedure.

For years Boston 25 has reported on officials’ concerns that Devellis could not face charges due to a loophole in the Massachusetts law that prevents doctors from being prosecuted on many claims of sexual assault and misconduct. It had to do with the consent of patients that often unknowingly give during medical procedures.

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan and other state lawmakers have been working to close that loophole by saying a doctor can’t get consent for an act if they fraudulently claim it was for a medical reason.

Their legislation has been stalled at the State House for years but they do plan to refile it this upcoming season.

Devellis was working at Excel Orthopedics in Woburn at the time of the original allegations in 2016.

Boston 25 has reached out to them for a comment but they told us Devellis has not been affiliated with Excel for many years now.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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