Previously charged last month in a criminal complaint with depriving a veteran of his civil rights under color of law, a doctor of osteopathic medicine who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, was recently indicted on five counts of depriving veterans of their civil rights under color of law and two counts of abusive sexual contact.
Between September 2018 and February 2019, Dr. Jonathan Yates, who was working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, sexually molested at least six male patients according to the recent indictment. 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 his abuses caused five of the veterans to suffer bodily injury and the way that he touched the veterans was not medically necessary.
In February 2019, a 42-year-old U.S. Army veteran suffering from “service-connected disability” was examined by Dr. Yates at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley. According to the criminal complaint filed last month, the patient told Dr. Yates that he wanted a referral to continue massage therapy for chronic pain. Instead, Dr. Yates temporarily incapacitated him by cracking his neck against his will and sexually molested the veteran according to the complaint.
Several other witnesses came forward, including a doctor who worked directly with Yates. According to the complaint, the doctor stated that Yates told him, “I’m not able to explore the things I’d like to with some of the guys because I’m a married man and my wife wouldn’t understand.”
On Tuesday, a federal grand jury in Charleston, West Virginia, returned a seven-count indictment charging Dr. Jonathan Yates with five counts of depriving veterans of their civil rights under color of law and two counts of abusive sexual contact. If convicted, Yates faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.