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Doctor Convicted of Raping Hospital Patient Gets No Jail Time

In this Friday, Aug. 17, 2018 photo, Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh awaits his sentencing at Harris County Family Law Center in Houston. The former Baylor doctor received 10 years probation for raping a patient in 2013 at Ben Taub Hospital. (Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Yi-Chin Lee/Houston Chronicle via AP

A former Texas doctor convicted of raping a hospital patient who was heavily sedated will receive no jail time for his crime.

A judge sentenced Shafeeq Sheikh, a 46-year-old former physician who worked for Baylor College of Medicine, to ten years of probation on Friday and ordered he register as a sex offender, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The incident took place in 2013 when the woman had been a patient at Houston’s Ben Taub General Hospital.

The victim, who has not been identified, told authorities the male doctor entered her room three times before raping her on his third visit. The woman said she was heavily sedated, and could not fight back or call for help because the call button page for a nurse had been disconnected, according to court documents.

The woman reported the incident the next morning, agreeing to undergo a rape kit.

The 12-person jury of five women and seven men found the former doctor guilty of second-degree sexual assault after 15 hours of deliberation. At Sheikh’s sentencing the following day, prosecutors were asking for a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, the Washington Post reported.

“He sought her out. He chose her to prey on,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder told jurors, according to the Chronicle. “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.”

But the defense argued the sex between Sheikh and the victim was consensual.

“He made a mistake, but he didn’t sexually assault her,” attorney Lisa Andrews argued, according to the Chronicle. “Here we have this Latina woman with her fake boobs that came onto that little nerdy middle-aged guy, and he lost his mind.”

Jurors sided with the defense in the case and recommended the judge go with the lighter sentence. Texas is one of a handful of states which allows juries to determine criminal penalties.

There is a lawsuit pending against Sheikh’s former employer, Baylor College of Medicine, in Texas state Supreme Court. The Texas Medical Board suspended Sheikh’s license to practice in 2015, citing his “continuing threat to public welfare.”

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