Michigan Bill Aims to Prevent Future Sexual Assault by Doctors
November 3rd, 2021
In September, Michigan lawmakers introduced a series of bills intended to hold medical professionals accountable for sexual misconduct. The move comes less than a week after Olympic gymnasts testified at a U.S. Senate hearing about the abuse they experienced while under the treatment of former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar and in response to allegations that the late Dr. Robert Anderson, former team doctor at the University of Michigan, sexually assaulted numerous patients under his care. The topic of doctor sexual assault has gotten more recognition with these big cases than ever before, and Michigan aims to make changes in that area.
Michigan Bill Against Doctor Sexual Assault
The new bills would require that health professionals keep records regarding all treatments that involve vaginal or anal penetration for 15 years and would revoke a health professional’s license if they are convicted of sexual misconduct and tried to disguise it as a medical procedure.
A third bill would prohibit the disclosure under public records laws of the names of people who file civil actions that allege sexual misconduct, while a fourth proposed law would give victims of doctor sexual assault additional time to bring civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct.
The measures came as the Department of Education fined Michigan State University for inadequately responding in the Nassar case. This, coupled with the allegations made by victims of Dr. Robert Anderson, who allegedly sexually assaulted patients while working as the team doctor at the University of Michigan, caused Michigan lawmakers to shed more light on sexual assault by medical providers.
The bills have passed the Michigan House and await approval by the Michigan Senate before being signed into law by Governor Whitmer. Previous attempts to protect victims of sexual assault have faced opposition from universities, schools, municipalities, businesses, and the Catholic Church over the financial ramifications of facing a potentially unknown number of old lawsuits from victims of sexual assault.
Allegations of Sexual Assault by Team Doctors
The case surrounding former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexually assaulted hundreds of female athletes who were under his care brought many well-known gymnasts forward when they bravely recounted their alleged experiences and brought to light the lack of victims who feel like they can come forward with doctor sexual assault allegations.
Supporters of the new laws claim that they will open the courthouse doors to victims of sexual assault, empower survivors, and give them their day in court. Many victims of sexual assault do not realize that they have suffered a sexual assault until years later. This is especially true when the perpetrator is a medical professional. By giving victims additional time to sue and eliminating governmental claims of immunity, survivors will have more time to process the events and give them their day in court. Once in court, survivors will have a chance to make their case.
Elmen Legal Defends People Accused of Michigan Sexual Assault
While Elmen Legal does not condone sexual assault, there are two sides to every story, and people accused of sexual assault deserve a vigorous defense.
While the new laws focus on civil liability for victims of sexual assault, allegations of sexual assault are often accompanied by criminal charges. If you have been charged with criminal sexual assault, Michigan criminal defense attorney Robert Elmen can defend you against the criminal charges and in the court of public opinion, and can help minimize the consequences of a conviction.
Allegations of criminal sexual conduct are serious, and the consequences can be severe. Because allegations of sexual assault often carry a particular stigma, it is important that you work with an attorney who has experience defending people accused of these types of crimes. You need someone who will challenge the allegations against you, fight to protect your rights, and defend you in court and in the court of public opinion.
When you work with Elmen Legal, you will find that I am a caring and compassionate advocate who will listen carefully to your concerns, offer candid advice about the potential implications of a conviction, and fight to get you the best possible outcome I can.
I will thoroughly investigate the allegations against you, help you mount a legal defense, and vigorously defend you in court and in the court of public opinion. I know that allegations of sexual misconduct are delicate and emotionally charged. But many of these cases are he-said-she-said situations where prosecutors lack hard evidence of sexual misconduct. Yet all the prosecutor needs to move forward with a criminal case is a victim who claims you did something wrong.
A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can undermine the credibility of the accuser and defend you against allegations of sexual misconduct.
I invite you to learn more about the cases I handle, read reviews from people I have helped, and learn how I defend people facing allegations of criminal sexual conduct. Then contact Elmen Legal today to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case and how I can help.
Elmen Legal proudly represents people in Ann Arbor, Saline, Pittsfield Township, Chelsea, and Ypsilanti, in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland Counties.