What is Sexual Abuse by Medical Professionals?

Sexual abuse by a medical professional or doctor constitutes a serious violation of medical ethics, trust, and the law.  We should be able to trustsexual abuse survivor holding hands up in fear doctors, dentists, hospitals, physical therapists, or other medical professionals to care for us. 

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is any form of sexual behavior that occurs without the victim's clear consent. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) defines sexual assault as: Attempted rape; Unwanted sexual contact; Forcing the victim to perform a sexual act.

What Should I Expect During a Medical Visit?

You have legal rights when you visit a doctor for an exam, treatment, or procedure. If the exam makes you uncomfortable, you can end your visit anytime. You should have a private exam room or a curtain drawn. You should only have to undress to your comfort, and you should only have to undress the parts of your body that are being examined. You should never be required to undress if you are uncomfortable or unsure about what is happening. 

A pelvic, vaginal, breast, rectal, or test exam should only be done based on what's medically necessary. Here are some things that are not normal during a medical exam:

  • Doctor fails to answer your questions or explain why he/she is doing things to your body
  • The doctor examines your private areas without gloves. 
  • Doctor purposefully pushes his/her body against yours during an exam. 
  • The doctor insists you undress parts of your body he/she is not examining.

How Can I Report Doctor Sexual Assault?

If you believe that you have suffered medical abuse, you can report it in several ways: Call 911 to report it to local law enforcement. Contact the hospital, doctor's office, or facility where it happened.

Will My Identity Be Protected If I File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit?

In most civil lawsuits involving privacy-related issues like sex abuse cases, a court will side with the plaintiff and allow the plaintiff to file a claim using a pseudonym. The court will do a balancing in which it weighs the plaintiff’s right to confidentiality against the court’s preference for openness. When a plaintiff’s ability to heal from the abuse would be negatively affected by the disclosure of his or her identity, the Court will generally protect the identity of the plaintiff victim.

How Long Will a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Last?

Typically, in California, civil cases take approximately two years from the time of filing a case until the trial commences. Various factors impact the ability to get a case to trial more quickly, including the number of cases a court is currently handling, the ability to obtain discovery from the defense, and the availability of witnesses for deposition and trial. If a victim is under 14, he or she is entitled to an expedited trial date if it is requested under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 36(b). If this motion for expedited trial date is granted, the trial must commence within 120 days of the motion. This can pose challenges for the plaintiff, though, as a common defense tactic is to delay disclosure of information. A plaintiff may have difficulty getting the evidence needed in this shortened window of time.

What Are the Biggest Challenges in Pursuing a Sex Abuse Case?

Sex abuse cases are distinctly different than the more typical personal injury cases in California. It can be challenging in a sex abuse case to prove the amount of injury to a plaintiff. Pursuing a claim for psychological damages also typically allows the defense to discover the plaintiff’s psychological and therapy records. It is standard that parties enter into a protective order that protects the plaintiff from disclosing these personal records publicly or in any court filing. The good news is that society is moving in favor of victims in these cases as the general public is better understanding the number of sex abuse cases that are going on in the world and the serious damage sex abuse does to the victims. These cases with “invisible” injuries are more easily understood by the general public now than ten years ago.

To teach the jury about the ways sex abuses impact a person, plaintiffs will typically retain a psychologist expert who has experience treating victims of sexual abuse. These experts can take what jurors generally understand about sex abuse survivors, give the jurors concrete examples, and legitimize what jurors already generally understand about victims.

How Does Doctor Sexual Assault Create Long-Lasting Mental Health Issues for Victims?

Psychological effects of sexual assault can affect a victim in a variety of ways. Many survivors mention flashbacks from their assault, feelings of shame, isolation, anxiety, and guilt. 

Sexual assault can have lasting effects on a victim’s health and well-being. If you were a victim of Dr. Gregory Castillo, a family practitioner in Valencia, Case Barnett Law is here to help. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys can protect your legal rights and ensure you are fully compensated for the trauma you have suffered. Contact us through our online form or call 949.861.2990 to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Castillo Lost Medical License After Evidence of Sexual Misconduct Involving Multiple Male Victims

In October 2019, Dr. Castillo surrendered his medical license after evidence of a longstanding pattern of sexual misconduct surfaced. By accepting the loss of privileges to practice medicine in California, Dr. Castillo admits that evidence against him warrants official discipline.

Thus, the allegations in the complaint against him are considered valid.

To date, there are three known victims reporting assault over six years. They are:

  • Patient 1, a 47-year-old man who was orally assaulted in October 2013
  • Patient 2, a 25-year-old man who was inappropriately fondled in May 2019 and told the doctor was looking for “lymph nodes” in the groin area
  • Patient 3, a 19-year-old man who was inappropriately touched without gloves or consent in June 2019

What Has Facey Medical Group Done In Response to the Allegations against Dr. Gregory Castillo? 

Facey Medical Group terminated Castillo’s privileges on July 29, 2019, due to the complaint submitted by Patient 2. However, Facey staff knew Dr. Castillo’s conduct since meeting with Patient 1 in 2015. Despite knowing his sexual misconduct and various other “quality of care” issues, they continued to allow Dr. Castillo to see patients.

Case Barnett Law has filed a personal injury suit against Facey Medical Group and Dr. Gregory Castillo on behalf of two patients. The suits allege sexual battery, sexual harassment, and negligence. 

A criminal investigation by the state of California into Dr. Castillo’s conduct has not been announced. However, this may change as additional evidence is uncovered.

Get the Help You Need From a California Personal Injury Attorney

It is common for victims of sexual assault to not report their attack immediately due to feelings of shame or embarrassment and fears that their testimony may not be believed. The trauma of the experience is compounded when the attacker is in a position of authority.

Can Sexual Assault Victims of Dr. Castillo Sue Facey Medical Group? 

If you were a victim of inappropriate sexual conduct by Dr. Castillo while he was treating patients at Facey Medical Group, we want to hear from you. With over 17 years of trial experience, our Costa Mesa personal injury attorney team at Case Barnett Law is committed to setting things right and being the one to place a finger on the scales of justice.

Although no amount of monetary compensation can erase the trauma you’ve suffered, taking steps to ensure those in power are held accountable for their actions can help you begin your journey toward healing. Contact us online or call our office at 949.861.2990 to request a meeting with our legal team.

Read About The Medical Board Findings & License Revocation
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