BLUFFTON — A Bluffton doctor has been suspended from practicing medicine after he admitted to engaging in sexual misconduct with at least five of his patients.
Dr. James A. Gideon, a rheumatology and internal medicine physician, was ordered to “immediately cease the practice of medicine and surgery” at a recent meeting with the State Medical Board of Ohio. The Board found “clear and convincing evidence” that Gideon violated the Ohio Revised Code, and that his continued practice would present a “danger of immediate and serious harm to the public.”
The Board’s decision to suspend Gideon’s medical license came after Gideon admitted to sexual misconduct with multiple patients between September 2013 and May 2017. He has been charged with three counts of sexual imposition from incidents that occurred on May 5 and 10. Gideon will make his first court appearance June 30 in Lima Municipal Court.
According to medical records, Gideon told a Board investigator that he unnecessarily touched the breasts of three patients in the course of treating adjacent areas of the body. He admitted to the investigator that he “knowingly touched the nipple/areola area in a manner that was not medically necessary.”
Gideon described a more specific encounter with a patient that occurred on May 5. He explained that the patient fell asleep for about five minutes, and during that time his hand “inappropriately went across her nipple probably a dozen times,” and that he kissed her shoulder. When she awoke, he apologized for being “too touchy.”
When discussing disrobing practices, Gideon admitted “it would have been appropriate to have the patients in a gown or have a witness present.” He furthered admitted that he gained some sort of gratification from patients disrobing in front of him.
During an appointment with another patient on May 4, Gideon said he pinched her nipple and used an ungloved hand to move her breast. He also admitted to rubbing his hand on her buttocks, hugging her while she was disrobed and rubbed her exposed shoulders, back and legs, despite her protests that she did not like the way he was touching her.
Another admission made by Gideon included rubbing a third patient’s lower back, sides, abdomen and buttocks while making comments that made her feel uncomfortable. Further admissions centered around unnecessarily touching a fourth patient’s breasts, nipples and areolas, and grabbing a fifth patient’s inner thigh. These incidents occurred between March and May.
Along with suspending his medical license, the Board may also impose a civil penalty in an amount that shall not exceed $20,000. Gideon has 30 days to a request a hearing concerning these matters, though it is unclear if he will do so. If he does not request a hearing, the Board will determine whether or not to limit, revoke, permanently revoke, suspend, refuse to register or reinstate his certificate to practice medicine and surgery.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @Bush_Lima.