A physician has been arrested on four complaints of sexual battery in Oklahoma County after six women reported that the doctor sexually assaulted them. After the women, current and former employees of the Best Care Medical Center in Edmond, went to police, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Dr. Medhat Michael, 52, of Oklahoma City.
Michael turned himself in to the Oklahoma County Jail on December 2 and was released on $40,000 bail. According to the women's complaints, the doctor sexually harassed them, making inappropriate, unprofessional comments and touching and groping them. Dr. Michael, who has not been charged, refuted his accusers as making false allegations of sexual abuse.
Investigators, however, are looking into the possibility that other women may be involved, including patients, and are urging them to come forward if they feel they were victimized by the Edmond physician. In Oklahoma sexual battery is a vaguely defined sex offense.
Essentially, sexual battery is any unwanted physical contact that occurs for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator. Without precise definition of what constitutes sexual battery, it is an easy charge for prosecutors to file against someone whose actions--or perceived actions--do not fall under the definitions of rape, lewd acts, or sodomy.
However, this vague definition also gives Oklahoma sexual battery defense lawyers the tools he or she needs to build reasonable doubt. In order to obtain conviction for a sexual battery charge, prosecutors must demonstrate that the defendant (1) touched the alleged victim without his or her consent, and (2) that the intent of the touch was sexual in nature. If, for example, a person inadvertently brushes against the breast or buttocks of another person in a crowd, he or she is not guilty of sexual battery.
Although the touch in this instant may have been uncomfortable for the the person who was bumped into, and although that person did not consent to being bumped into, there was no intent to touch and the physical contact was not initiated for sexual gratification. It is not uncommon to see football players slap one another on the buttocks in congratulations during a game.
Although one player does not expressly consent to having his rear patted, this is not seen as sexual battery, as there is no sexual intent. It is a common gesture in sports, and therefore, not considered sexual battery. Slapping the backside of a co-worker in the office break room, however, is not considered a commonly accepted practice. It is not only considered inappropriate, but can also lead to professional sanctions as well as criminal charges.
Punishable by up to ten years in prison and lifetime registration as an Oklahoma sex offender, sexual battery is a serious felony offense. For those accused of sexual battery or other sex offenses, an Oklahoma sexual battery lawyer is vital for successful defense.