LINCOLNTON A former Lincoln County doctor accused of raping a patient in 1996 has been released on bond and made his first court appearance Tuesday.
John E. Marshall, a gynecologist, was charged with rape and conspiracy from the alleged sexual assault of a patient 17 years ago. He was also charged with sexual offense by a custodian.
On Tuesday, Lincolnton attorney Blair Pettis, who is representing Marshall, said his client is asserting his innocence and says he will plead not guilty.
Marshall, 59, was arrested at his home Monday and placed in jail under a $100,000 bond. He was released Monday evening.
Detective Ashley Boyles with the Lincolnton Police Department said the charges are the result of a yearlong investigation that began after the alleged victim, a woman who is now 51, came forward.
Boyles said the woman, who is not being named, said that in 1996 she became ill with symptoms that included vomiting. She had her husband drop her off at the emergency room at Lincoln Medical Center on Gamble Drive in Lincolnton.
The woman said Marshall was the ER doctor who admitted her. After Marshall gave the woman medications, she was not able to speak and was in and out of consciousness, Boyles said. She said she woke up and realized what was happening but wasnt able to say or do anything.
The woman told investigators another doctor was present and participated in the assault by touching her. That doctor has since died, officials said. The woman said the assault took place away from the emergency room in an area that was more like an examination room.
Boyles said that after spending several days in the hospital, the woman went home and told her husband about the alleged assault, but he didnt want the police involved in the family. Her family wasnt very supportive in her reporting it.
Over the years, Boyles said, the woman told friends about the incident but still didnt inform authorities.
Her change of mind came when she was trying to find a doctor for a family member and came across his (Marshalls) name, Boyles said. She knew she had to report it. I think its a relief to her. Its definitely something shes carried around all this time and needed to get out.
Marshall has twice been suspended from practicing medicine, according to the N.C. Medical Board, which licenses doctors and other medical professionals.
Marshalls license was indefinitely suspended in March 2011 after the board found that he improperly touched a nurse and also failed to keep detailed records of patients. According to the board, a nurse complained in 2009 that Marshall had made inappropriate comments to her in front of a patient, touched and rubbed her stomach with his hands, walked up behind her and rubbed himself against her, and followed her from room to room asking personal questions.
That same year, authorities in Buncombe County notified the board that Marshall had been prescribing drugs to a man who lived two hours away from his practice. The patients wife was under investigation for having large amounts of drugs prescribed to her over the Internet.
When interviewed, Marshall said patients were referred to him from an Internet service that charged patients and referred them to his Lincoln County practice, which violates North Carolina law.
Boyles said the local investigation is ongoing and that anyone with information should call the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less