A former Texas doctor convicted Thursday of raping an incapacitated patient will serve no prison time after insisting that the sex with his patient was consensual.
Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, a physician at Baylor College of Medicine was found guilty of second-degree sexual assault last month. But as CrimeOnline previously reported, a jury recommended no jail time, and he will serve only 10 years probation. The former doctor’s medical license has been taken away and he is also required to register as a sex offender after being found guilty of second-degree sexual assault.
In the state of Texas, a jury is allowed to recommend sentencing, and the judge in the case, Senior District Judge Terry L Flenniken, was required by law to follow the recommendation, according to the Houston Chronicle. The crime is reportedly punishable by 20 years in prison.
According to the Associated Press report, Sheikh, who was not scheduled to provide care for the female victim, acknowledged at trial that he did indeed have sexual contact with the patient while working a night shift in 2013, but insisted to jurors that it was consensual. The woman was in the hospital overnight, heavily medicated while suffering from an asthma attack when Sheikh came to her room several times in the night and sexually assaulted her, reportedly after noticing her breast implants. The patient reportedly tried summoning a nurse to help, the call button didn’t work.
While DNA evidence collected at the scene matched the DNA sample belonging to Sheikh, it took two years for any charges to be filed against the guilty doctor.
In addition to the rape kit findings, investigators reportedly determined that Sheikh swiped his badge on the victim’s floor at least 12 times the night of the assault, with surveillance video capturing him on the same floor.
“He sought her out. He chose her to prey on,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder said during Friday’s sentencing, according to the Associated Press.
“You know he’s the type of man who would go in multiple times, testing the waters, seeing how far he could go and get back to his normal business after that.”
In a statement through a former attorney, the victim gave no comment regarding the punishment and said she wanted to move on.
[Feature photo: Shafeeq Sheikh, Houston Police Department mugshot]