A former physician was convicted earlier this month for the 2013 rape of a patient at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston.
Despite their finding, jurors recommended no jail time for the defendant, who admitted having sex with the woman but claims it was consensual.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh was found guilty after a jury deliberated for roughly 15 hours over a period of two days. She reported the incident to hospital staff but could not identify her attacker.
An investigation used surveillance footage and DNA evidence to identify Sheikh as the suspect. The other evidence against him included reports that showed he used his badge to gain access to the 32-year-old victim’s floor a dozen times during her stay despite the fact that he was not assigned to her room.
Not only did the rape itself destroy her life, she told jurors that it led to her subsequent divorce.
The hospital and school have been cleared of wrongdoing and Sheikh lost his medical license in 2015 upon the completion of an investigation that found him to be “a continuing threat” to the public.
Sheikh’s attorneys attempted to poke holes in the victim’s story as prosecutors painted a picture of a victimizing doctor who took advantage of a helpless patient.
Among the lines of questioning the defense followed were insinuations about the sultry nature of photos the victim, an aspiring actress and model, posted online.
The defendant’s attorneys also argued that since evidence showed she had sex with her husband after arriving at the hospital, she was not too incapacitated to have consensual sex with Sheikh.
Attorneys argued the victim initiated the encounters — in an effort to make her husband jealous — while the doctor was performing a chest examination.
“It immediately sunk in that something terrible had happened, and I was scared for myself,” Sheikh told the jury. “You’re not supposed to have sex with a patient. That’s part of medical ethics.”
[Featured image: Shafeeq Sheikh, Houston Police Department]