Houston, TX – A doctor who was convicted of raping a heavily sedated female patient was sentenced to 10 years of probation.
A jury found Shafeeq Sheikh guilty in his sexual assault trial and the jury sentenced Sheikh to probation, according to KTRK-TV.
The jury of five women and seven men took 15 hours of deliberation over two days, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The defense team admitted to the sex with the patient but said it was consensual, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Sheikh was arrested in October of 2015 after a two-year investigation into assaults that happened in November of 2013 at Ben Taub Hospital.
“When you’re a doctor, I’d expect you’d get prison time,” attorney Casey Kiernan, who has defended sexual assault cases for nearly four decades, told the Houston Chronicle. “We hold doctors to a higher standard.”
The victim was admitted into the hospital during the overnight hours for an acute asthma attack, the Houston Chronicle reported. Someone entered her room and sexually assaulted her, according to KTRK. The victim was heavily sedated, according to court documents.
The victim told police she tried to call for help but couldn’t. The next morning, it was discovered that the call button had been unplugged, according to KTRK.
Surveillance cameras in the hospital showed Sheikh near the victim’s room and using his hospital identification card to gain access, KTRK reported.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Sheikh was an internal medicine resident on call at Ben Taub Hospital. He swiped his badge to enter the victim’s floor at least 12 times even though the victim was not assigned to Sheikh as his patient.
Police had a DNA test done and collected evidence for nearly two years before arresting Sheikh.
The doctor was fired from Ben Taub Hospital in 2014 and his Texas medical license was suspended, KTRK reported.
The 32-year-old women testified that the sexual assaults led to the end of her marriage and upended her life, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The Houston Chronicle column detailed the victim’s account of the assault in 2015.
The victim, who was from South America, said that the doctor entered her room late at night and claimed to be checking her lungs. The doctor told the victim that he had to touch her chest. The victim said it didn’t feel right, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The woman said the doctor left but then returned and touched her legs and fondled her beneath her panties. She said she was too weak to scream or struggle. The victim told the Houston Chronicle all she could do was look at him.
The doctor left but returned again and this time she said he turned her over, pulled her to the edge of the bed and raped her. The woman said her limbs felt like lead and she was powerless to respond, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"It's the feeling that you can't do anything," the victim told the newspaper. "You can't do anything to save yourself."
The woman said she didn’t immediately report the attack to hospital staff because she didn’t trust anyone at the hospital. She told the Houston Chronicle that she fear if she reported the assault, something worse might happen to her.
When her husband and friend arrived, the victim then told a nurse about what happened. The woman said her husband called the Houston police but the officers were not allowed into her hospital room. The victim gave a statement to security.
"You're supposed to feel safe in a hospital," the woman told the Houston Chronicle. "You never imagine something like this is going to happen."