HOUSTON, TX — A Houston doctor has avoided prison time after being convicted of raping a patient in her hospital bed while she was heavily sedated.
Shafeeq Sheikh, 46, was sentenced to 10 years probation for the attack, which took place in 2013 at Ben Taub General Hospital. Sheikh also lost his medical license and his job.
The 27-year-old victim, who was identified only as “Laura,” was being treated for a severe asthma attack when she claimed that the doctor came into the room and raped her as she slipped in and out of consciousness.
At trial, Sheikh testified that the sex had been consensual — and his defense lawyer showed the jury photos from the victim’s Instagram account, on which she’d posted sexy photos as part of her job promoting a clothing boutique.
“He made a mistake, but he didn’t sexually assault her,” attorney Lisa Andrews argued, according to The Houston Chronicle. “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.”
Sheikh admitted at trial that even though Laura was not his patient, he entered her room anyway after he noticed her breast implants. Laura stated that Sheikh came into her room and told her he needed to examine her chest, and then touched her breast and vagina.
The Chronicle reported that Laura then tried to use her bedside button to call a nurse, but it was disconnected. Laura said that Sheikh left her room, then came back again and did the same thing before returning a third time to rape her without using any protection.
The next morning, Laura reported the crime and also asked for a rape kit. After DNA analysis determined that Sheikh’s profile could not be ruled out and surveillance video placed him on Laura’s floor the night of the attack, he was arrested in 2015.
Following his arrest, the Texas Medical Board suspended his license, citing his “continuing threat to public welfare.” He will also have to register as a sex offender for life.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted his reaction to Sheikh’s sentence:
This is beyond troubling. A hideous crime is committed in a hospital room which should be a sanctuary for patients. So many new norms that run contrary to what we’ve always stood for, I pray no accountability for harming people isn’t one of them. https://t.co/hf20OsTiO1
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) August 18, 2018
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Main photo: Shafeeq Sheikh [Houston Police Department]
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