‘Hospital rapped by victim for coverup attempt’
Doctor is convicted of raping a patient as she lay heavily sedated in a hospital bed unable to call for help after an alarm had been deliberately unplugged
Houston area physician, Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, has been found guilty of raping a patient at the Ben Taub Hospital in Houston on Oct 13, 2013
The patient only identified as ‘Laura’ was lying in her hospital bed, heavily sedated, after being admitted for severe asthma
Laura, 32, said she saw Dr Sheikh enter the room who claimed he had to examine her lungs, but she quickly realized he was not her doctor and was fondling her breasts
Though heavily sedated, Laura still managed to reach out for the nurse call button only to find that it had been unplugged and was disabled
When the doctor came back for a second time he touched her again, he later returned and raped her
Laura reported the assault the morning after the attack, but hospital staff didn’t believe her
A rape kit confirmed the assault and identified the attacker but it took another two years for Sheikh to be arrested and charged with the sexual assault first reported in 2013 – conviction stretched out another two years
Sheikh, an internal medicine resident on call at Ben Taub, was spotted on surveillance video and logged swiping his badge to enter her floor at least 12 times, even though she wasn’t assigned as his patient
The father-of-four admitted that he had sex with Laura, but claimed that the encounter was consensual
The transplant, originally from India, lost his position at the Baylor College of Medicine and saw his license revoked by the Texas Medical Board due to a ‘continuing threat to public welfare’
Sentence is pending
A jury has convicted a former doctor accused of raping a patient who was hospitalized for an asthma attack in 2013.
Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, admitted that he doctor had sex with a patient, but claimed that the encounter was consensual, however, a jury in Texasdidn’t believe the physician.
The woman, named only as Laura, described how a doctor later identified as Sheikh entered her room at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston in the middle of the night.
He claimed that he needed to examine her lungs but instead set about touching her chest and fondling her breasts.
She described how the doctor groped and raped her while she was being treated overnight for shortness of breath and wheezing.
Despite pressing a button to call a nurse, Laura found that the alarm had been unplugged and therefore was disabled meaning there was no way for her to summon help.
Laura says she was lying in her hospital bed at Ben Taub nearly five years ago after being admitted for severe asthma when she saw a doctor enter the room. He said he had to examine her lungs but she quickly realized he was fondling her breasts. She was heavily sedated but managed to reach out for the nurse call button. It didn’t work. He left, but came back and touched her again, she says.
He left. But the third time, Laura says the doctor raped her. Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Houston.
Rape victim Laura covers her face while testifying about her rape – wishing to protect her identity.
When Laura first reported the assault the morning after the attack, hospital staff didn’t believe her.
A rape kit was performed on Laura and matched to a swab taken from Sheikh, but it took another two years for the doctor to be arrested and charged with the sexual assault first reported in 2013.
Surveillance video and ID card logs were then reviewed which showed how the doctor accessed the woman’s floor 12 times on the night of the attack even though she wasn’t his patient.
Laura, 32, some five years on from the rape, told the court how the sexual assault left her life unrecognizable and ultimately led to the end of her marriage.
Sheikh, a father of four, originally from India, lost his position at the Baylor College of Medicine and saw his license revoked by the Texas Medical Board due to a ‘continuing threat to public welfare,’ according to the Houston Chronicle.
Sheikh’s attorney attempted to question Laura’s credibility during trial by suggesting that she was alert and aware of her surroundings.
It was even noted that she had sexual contact with her husband on the first night of her stay which the defense said showed she was not totally incapacitated.
Sheikh’s attorney suggested that while the doctor violated medical ethics, he was seduced by Laura in an effort to make her husband jealous.
He testified that the woman placed his hand on her breasts as he conducted a chest exam and that she touched his genitals.
Dr Shafeeq Sheikh was accused of attacking Laura a patient at Ben Taub hospital, Houston [photo] in 2013
In another bold statement, Sheikh suggested that Laura moved herself to the edge of the gurney, indicating she wanted to take things further.
‘It immediately sunk in that something terrible had happened, and I was scared for myself,’ Sheikh testified. ‘You’re not supposed to have sex with a patient. That’s part of medical ethics.’
Laura filed a lawsuit because she believes Sheikh also has other victims.
‘The reason I think so is because this person has everything very organized,’ she told KHOU. ‘He has no fear.’
‘He abuses his authority, uses his power…and without thinking twice takes control over someone who is sick.’
Sheikh was working at Ben Taub while he was a resident at the Baylor College of Medicine from June 2011 to June 2014.
Laura said she hopes her case will show people that rape ‘doesn’t have a social status’.
‘I want to inspire and motivate these women,’ she said. ‘To find the courage to talk and speak up to get out of the pain they’re in.’
Sheikh is awaiting sentence.
Local station khou.com reports Alleged Complicity by hospital staff in resolving the alleged rape of their patient by a staff doctor.
Laura sid when the ordeal was over, she cried as the doctor stood by the foot of the bed, checked his cell phone, before rushing out the door without a word.
She remembers fighting to stay alert, but she eventually succumbed to the drugs and fell asleep, but as far as she knows, the doctor didn’t come back.
In the morning, she says, she awoke to see her hospital gown and panties on the floor.
A nurse came in, but Laura dared not say anything.
Still shocked and bewildered, she trusted no one at the hospital. She remained hooked up to an IV and feared that if she reported the attack, something even worse might happen.
She stayed quiet until her husband and friend arrived. In their presence, she says, she told a nurse what had happened. She says medical staff responded coldly to her improbable story and seemed to stare and whisper about her, as though she were crazy or lying.
The victim’s husband called Houston police, but officers were not allowed into her hospital room, so she gave a statement to security while either her husband or her friend relayed the details second-hand to officers.
Meanwhile she was told a nurse was on the way to collect evidence for a rape kit.
By midmorning, Laura says, she urgently needed to use the rest room, but the forensic nurse hadn’t arrived. Laura had her husband ask hospital staff for a cup to preserve evidence. The staff refused to provide one, she says. Then, Laura says, after she mentioned using drinking cups surrounding a carafe of water, a nurse removed the cups from the room.
Finally, she says, she could wait no longer. She used the toilet, but left it unflushed in the faint hope that police could glean evidence. Incredibly, Laura says, a nurse told her the evidence would be contaminated anyway and flushed the toilet.
The forensic nurse finally arrived in the afternoon to complete the rape kit.
Afterward, all Laura wanted was to go home. Doctors urged her to stay at Ben Taub, as she was still under treatment for her asthma. But she demanded they disconnect her from the machines and discharge her.