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  • Paul Manigrasso

ALLEGED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY AT THE VA



With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.


-- Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, 4 March 1865 (Second Inaugural Address)


This is not what the President intended.


As an attorney, I live in a world where an individual is innocent until convicted by a jury of their peers "beyond a reasonable doubt."


However ----


If proved, these allegations are absolutely despicable; a word that I don't use very often. As a veteran, I applaud each of these men for coming forward at the risk of their dignity and re-traumatization. How many others have not come forward, or worse, came forward and were ignored?


There is a move for the Veteran's Administration to change it's motto. The reason usually put forth is that President Lincoln's quote is not inclusive of our sisters-in-arms. Perhaps we should change it because it's more a slap in the face to "those who have borne the battle," and have had to deal with sub-standard care.


I apologize to the thousands of hard working men and women that somehow make the VA "work"; but, someone had to be aware of this activity when it started, and remained silent. That individual or individuals has criminal culpability.


Thanks to the New York Times and Mariel Padilla. See the original article at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/us/west-virginia-doctor-molested-patients.html


Former Veterans Affairs Doctor Is Charged With Sexual Abuse of Patients

The doctor, Jonathan Yates, worked at a hospital in West Virginia. He was accused of causing bodily injury to some veterans and abusive sexual contact while they were incapacitated, according to the federal indictment.

By Mariel Padilla, May 12, 2020


A former doctor at a Veterans Affairs hospital in West Virginia was charged on Tuesday with sexually abusing several male patients over the course of six months.

The doctor, Jonathan Yates, 51, treated patients at Beckley V.A. Medical Center using osteopathic manipulative treatment — which typically requires moving, stretching and applying pressure to a person’s muscles and joints — between June 2018 and February 2019. During that time, he was also the director of Whole Health, a hospital program designed to support veterans’ health.

A federal grand jury in Charleston, W.Va., indicted Dr. Yates on two counts of abusive sexual contact and five counts of depriving veterans of their civil rights. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of life in prison, according to court documents.

E. Ward Morgan, Dr. Yates’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday night. A spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in the case said the Department of Justice had no comment.

Dr. Yates caused bodily injury to five veterans, according to the indictment. On Sept. 26, 2018, Dr. Yates used acupuncture needles to incapacitate a 37-year-old patient before massaging his body without any legitimate medical purpose, the indictment said.

In another episode on Feb. 20, 2019, Dr. Yates locked a 42-year-old Army veteran in an examination room and proceeded to massage his chest, calling him “a real man.” He then cracked the man’s neck without warning, causing severe pain and numbness, and molested the temporarily immobilized patient, according to the original criminal affidavit.

Dr. Yates was arrested without incident at his home on April 2, according to the Department of Justice. He was released on a $10,000 bond and placed under house arrest, according to court documents.

A hospital spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The Department of Veterans Affairs, the federal government’s second largest department by number of employees, after the Department of Defense, provides health care to more than nine million veterans every year.


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