The former Baylor College doctor sexually assaulted a partially sedated patient three times while working at Ben Taub Hospital in 2013.
Many lawyers are surprised the jury did not sentence the former doctor to prison time.
A former Baylor doctor accused of raping a patient while she was heavily sedated in 2013 was found guilty by a Houston jury Thursday.
Shafeeq Sheikh, a former physician at Baylor College of Medicine, was sentenced to 10 years of probation on Friday and will have to register as a sex offender, reports Fox News. A 12-person jury recommended the sentencing, which visiting Senior District Judge Terry L. Flenniken was required to accept by law.
Sheikh was working the night shift at Houston’s Ben Taub Hospital on Nov. 2, 2013, when police say he sexually assaulted a partially sedated 27-year-old patient three times. He was not assigned to the woman’s case.
The victim, identified only as Laura, provided a description of her attacker and hospital surveillance cameras determined Sheikh used his ID card to enter the patient’s floor 12 times on the night of the assaults.
The victim attempted to call for a nurse but discovered the call button on her bed had been unplugged.
“He sought her out. He chose her to prey on,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder said during Friday’s sentencing. “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.”
It took two years for charges to be filed against Sheikh, even though his DNA was linked to a sample gathered from a rape exam. He has been free on bond since.
Sheikh’s medical license was eventually revoked in 2015 by the Texas Medical Board after it found he was a “continuing threat to public welfare.”
During the trial, Sheikh admitted to sexual contact with the victim but said it was consensual, according to USA Today.
Many lawyers are surprised that Sheikh was not sentenced to prison time for his crime.
“When you’re a doctor, I’d expect you’d get prison time,” said attorney Casey Kiernan, who has defended sexual assault cases for nearly four decades. “We hold doctors to a higher standard.”
Following the sentencing, the victim said she wants to move on from the incident but believes there are other victims.
“Of course, yes, and the reason I think so is because this person had everything very organized,” she said. “I’m not only Laura; I represent lots of women, women who’ve been raped and mistreated.”