Houston: Muslim doctor convicted of raping hospital patient, but gets probation only, no prison time

Why? Because Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh “testified that he went to the woman’s room to do a medical check but that she ‘came on to him’ by grabbing his crotch, Andrews said. Sheikh left, came back to the room, and she came on to him again, Andrews said.” Lisa Andrews is “one of Sheikh’s attorneys.” Andrews also disparaged the victim in lurid terms: “Here we have this Latina woman with her fake boobs that came on to that little nerdy middle-aged guy and he lost his mind.”

Maybe. However, there are other cases that might have offered some pertinent details. In the UK last month, a Muslim migrant who was charged with sexually assaulting a boy in a McDonald’s men’s room claimed, according to his defense attorney, that “the boy had been watching him.” And in July, also in the UK, a Muslim cop on trial for the sexual assault of a teenage girl claimed she repeatedly asked him to have sex with her.

In a similar vein, Muzzammil Hassan, the Buffalo, New York moderate Muslim leader who beheaded his wife, claimed she beat him, and he was just defending himself. Turkan Lowmani, who stabbed his wife 21 times, claimed that his wife “had grabbed the knife first and he had taken it from her before a struggle ensued.” 68-old-year Komar Uddin, accused of raping a teenage girl, claimed she made all the advances upon him. Mohamed Noor, the Minneapolis cop who shot dead an unarmed woman, is also claiming that he acted in self-defense.

What if the prosecutors had brought up all those cases in order to illustrate that victim-blaming is common in Shafeeq Sheikh’s culture and should be discounted accordingly? Or would that have been “Islamophobic”?

“A jury convicted a doctor of raping a patient at a hospital — and sentenced him to probation,” by Kristine Phillips, Washington Post, August 19, 2018:

A Houston doctor who was convicted of raping a hospital patient will not serve prison time and, instead, will spend a decade on probation.

Jurors convicted Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, of second-degree sexual assault after a trial that ended this past week. The crime is punishable by up 20 years in prison, but the Texas jury sentenced Sheikh to 10 years of probation on Friday….

The jury’s sentence and the headlines that accompanied it have caused outrage on social media, with some drawing comparisons to a California judge’s decision to sentence Stanford sex offender Brock Turner to six months in jail. But one of Sheikh’s attorneys, who have argued that the sex between Sheikh and the patient was consensual, defended the jury’s decision.

“The 12 members of the jury who sat there and heard evidence for two solid weeks were in the best position to make that call . . . And when you’re not there and you haven’t heard the evidence, people should not jump to conclusions about facts they didn’t hear,” Lisa Andrews told The Washington Post.

The incident occurred Nov. 2, 2013, when the woman was a patient at Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston. She told authorities that a male doctor came to her room three times that night, raping her during the third visit. The woman, who was attached to machines and was sedated, was unable to fight and tried to call for help, but the nurses’ call button had been unplugged, court records say. She reported the incident the following morning and agreed to a rape-kit test….

DNA tests led investigators to Sheikh two years later, in October 2015. Sheikh, an internal medicine resident who was on call at the hospital at the time of the incident, was seen on surveillance video and logged his badge to go to the floor where the woman’s room was located at least 12 times, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Prosecutors told jurors last week that Sheikh betrayed the woman’s trust and took advantage of her when she was vulnerable, the Chronicle reported. Court records say that she was admitted to the hospital with complaints of shortness of breath and wheezing, and that she suffered serious injuries in the assault.

Sheikh, a doctor at Baylor College of Medicine at the time of the incident, testified that he went to the woman’s room to do a medical check but that she “came on to him” by grabbing his crotch, Andrews said. Sheikh left, came back to the room, and she came on to him again, Andrews said.

“I think he was probably somewhat shocked and confused the first time,” she said. “He came back and she did those things again, and so he reciprocated.”

Andrews said the defense questioned the woman’s credibility during the trial and presented evidence, including phone records showing that she was texting and calling people while she was at the hospital, to try to prove that she was not sedated. Sheikh’s legal team also questioned the woman’s motivation, suspecting that she had intended to file a lawsuit to potentially receive a settlement, according to Andrews….

“He made a mistake, but he didn’t sexually assault her,” Andrews told jurors during her closing argument, the Chronicle reported. “Here we have this Latina woman with her fake boobs that came on to that little nerdy middle-aged guy and he lost his mind.”…

The outcome surprised some legal experts, who told the Chronicle that the lenient sentence was unusual, especially for a professional who should be held to a higher standard.

Michele Dauber, a Stanford University law professor who led a campaign to recall California Judge Aaron Persky for sentencing Turner to six months in jail, said it’s “likely” that jurors were persuaded by the defense’s “outrageous racist and victim-blaming arguments.”…

The Texas Medical Board has since suspended Sheikh’s license, saying his “continuation in the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare.”

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