Former Veterans Affairs Doctor charged after alleged sexual assault of veteran

Regional News

BECKLEY, W.V. (WTAJ) — A doctor of osteopathic medicine who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, has been charged in a criminal complaint with “depriving a veteran of his civil rights under color of law.”

Dr. Jonathan Yates, 51, was arrested at his home Friday morning by Special Agents of the FBI and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Bluefield, Virginia Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint, while working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in February 2019, Yates examined a male Veteran, and during the examination Yates sexually molested the man.  Yates caused him severe pain and numbness, and temporarily incapacitated him by cracking his neck, after the patient had explicitly requested Yates not to crack his neck.

While he was incapacitated, Yates sexually molested him again.  This conduct, performed while Dr. Yates was acting under color of law in his capacity as a federal employee at the VAMC, deprived the veteran of his constitutional right to bodily integrity.

Dr. Yates is scheduled for an initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Omar Aboulhosn.

Deprivation of rights under color of law as charged in the complaint is punishable by up to life in prison.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Veterans Affairs Police Department. The U.S. Attorney’s Office sought immediate detention in this matter.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McVey of the Southern District of West Virginia.

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