Texas Surgeon Gets 10 Years for Sexually Assaulting Patient

Alicia Ault

August 01, 2018

A Texas jury has sentenced an orthopedic surgeon to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a female patient, according to multiple media reports..

The jury — in Collin County, north of Dallas — agreed with prosecutors that Donald Okechukwu Ozumba, MD, 45, had assaulted a woman in 2016 while he was giving her a steroid injection in her hip. At least a dozen other women also alleged Ozumba had assaulted them, but the trial and sentence hinged on the single case.

Dr Donald Ozumba

Prosecutors had sought a 45-year sentence, and Ozumba could have faced up to life in prison, according to the Washington Post.

According to a January 2018 complaint against Ozumba filed by the Texas Medical Board, the woman in the case reported that on her visit for a hip injection, she felt the cord from the sonogram machine moving back and forth inside her labia. When she returned for a second injection, she said that she felt Ozumba's fingers on her labia and clitoris, and on a third postsurgical visit, she said his finger penetrated her vagina. After that third, and last, appointment, Ozumba sent her text messages.

The woman initially was unsure of what to do, and she said at trial that she "froze" when he assaulted her. After speaking with her husband, the woman, in her 70s, went to the McKinney, Texas, police, according to the New York Post. Ozumba was arrested March 31, 2017, according to media reports.

 

"Threat to Public Welfare"

The medical board temporarily suspended his license in April 2017 pending further investigation. At that time the board said that his "continuation of the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare."

After Ozumba's arrest, more women came forward to report similar behavior while they were being examined or receiving injections for knee or hip pain. A Collin County grand jury indicted Ozumba on eight counts of sexual assault. Soon after, on July 28, 2017, the Texas Medical Board moved to immediately suspend Ozumba's license.

The board said in the complaint that at least 13 patients have alleged sexual assault or inappropriate behavior. In some cases, the patients reported that Ozumba was not wearing gloves during injections or exams or when he penetrated their vagina. Ozumba also sent some patients inappropriate and sexual text messages after the procedures.

He had sex with one patient, whom he had contacted via LinkedIn after their first appointment; she also performed oral sex on him during a subsequent visit. Another patient, seeking treatment for an elbow problem, ultimately had sex with Ozumba multiple times, including in the physical therapy room of his office. Both women who had sex with Ozumba eventually reported the contact to police, according to the medical board complaint.

Only the first accuser testified at trial against Ozumba, but three other women also spoke of their experiences during the penalty phase, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The New York Post reported that Ozumba's attorney, Toby Shook, claimed that the prosecutors had not gathered enough evidence to convict the physician and that the initial patient had a faulty memory.

The Dallas Morning News also reported in an earlier story that Ozumba had worked as team physician for professional, college, and high school teams, including Rockwall-Heath High School, Cedar Hill High School, and the University of Dallas.

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