CHARLESTON — A doctor who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, is accused of making unwanted sexual contact with six patients, two of whom reported they were immobilized at the time of the contact.
A federal grand jury in Charleston on Tuesday indicted 51-year-old Dr. Jonathan Yates on five counts of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of abusive sexual contact, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart.
As of Thursday, Yates’ license to practice medicine remained active, according to information available through the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine’s online licensee database search. His license is set to expire in June, according to the database.
Yates worked as the Whole Health director at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley from April 2018 to June 2019, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of West Virginia.
Yates, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, is accused of abusing six male patients between September 2018 and February 2019.
While working at the center, Yates allegedly sexually molested the men during their appointments.
Federal prosecutors allege that Yates temporarily immobilized two of the veterans — one by cracking his neck, and the other with the use of acupuncture needles — and sexually molested them while they were incapacitated.
The indictment also alleges that his abuse caused five of the veterans to suffer bodily injury.
The affidavit includes statements from the men Yates is accused of abusing. One of the men said people close to him did not believe him when he told them he thought he may have been sexually assaulted by his doctor.
The FBI still is investigating allegations of abuse. Anyone with additional information may contact the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI (225-5342).
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted, Yates faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.