By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to a bill that makes it a criminal offense when a medical or healthcare professional induces a patient to engage in sexual intercourse or touching by falsely representing that the act is necessary for a legitimate medical purpose. The measure adds sections to the existing rape and indecent assault and battery statutes to criminalize behavior by medical professionals where there has been a fraudulent representation of the necessity and propriety of conduct and adds these crimes to the law on the statute of limitations for other sexual assaults.

Supporters said that under existing law the offender cannot be criminally punished. “I filed this bill alongside Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan to protect susceptible patients and prohibit this unacceptable conduct,” said sponsor Rep. Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “The lack of a legal remedy in this area is particularly egregious given that a patient or client may be in an especially vulnerable state. A person in need of treatment, and without medical knowledge, will out of necessity rely on the recommendations made by a professional who is entrusted with caring for them and treating them.”

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