Hospitals like Cleveland Clinic can and do keep alleged rapes secret: Report

The Cleveland Clinic allowed a colorectal surgeon to remain on staff despite multiple allegations that he had raped patients, USA Today reports.

Two women say the doctor, Ryan Williams, sexually assaulted them while they were under his care in 2008 and 2009.

In one of the cases, the prominent medical provider reportedly agreed to a confidential settlement and allowed Williams to remain in practice.

The first female victim was receiving a rectal exam in April 2008 in Williams’ office when, she says, he inserted his penis into her rectum.

The victim reportedly jumped up, ran out of the room without wearing pants and exclaimed, “Why did he do it? Why did you do this?”

Williams is said to have replied, “I don’t know.”

Police later found semen in one of his exam rooms, which he attributed to stress relief, according to a police report.

The woman later sued Williams and the clinic, prompting a confidential settlement.

Another woman said she saw Williams in February 2009 to get a hemorrhoid removed.

Williams allegedly gave the woman pills, and she initially remembered just being groggy before and after the surgery. But more details later came to her and she eventually recalled Williams allegedly holding his penis during the appointment.

The second victim said she notified Cleveland Clinic of her recollection, but the hospital did nothing.

She then went to police to report the incident.

The second woman has since felt overwhelming fears, has had nightmares and has quit her job and moved in with her parents.

Williams told USA TODAY that he denies the allegations and said all of his patient visits had been chaperoned, but one of his former medical assistants said that wasn’t true.

He has not been criminally prosecuted in connection with the complaints.

Williams left Cleveland Clinic last year and got a job with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The hospital was not aware of the allegations against Williams until being contacted by the newspaper.

Ohio State later put Williams on leave, meaning he cannot see patients.

A former Cleveland Clinic lawyer told the newspaper that large health care organizations are “very often more interested in protecting their brand than protecting the health of patients.”


[Feature image: Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center/Ryan Williams]