Former VA Doctor Indicted on Civil Rights and Sexual Abuse Charges

May 14, 2020 1:46 PM , Updated May 28, 2020 4:10 PM
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A former doctor of osteopathic medicine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia was indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Charleston, West Virginia on federal civil rights and abusive sexual contact offenses.

Dr. Jonathan Yates is being charged with five counts of depriving veterans of their civil rights and two counts of abusive sexual contact according to an announcement from the Justice Department.

The indictment alleges that between September 2018 and February 2019, while working at the VA Medical Center, Dr. Yates examined six male patients and sexually molested them during their appointments.

The indictment alleges 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 Yates knowingly engaged in sexual contact with two other veterans without their consent.

The indictment also alleges that this abuse caused five of the veterans to suffer bodily injury.

This investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5342).

Yates faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. An indictment is merely a formal accusation of criminal conduct and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.