Area doctor charged with sexually abusing patients

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MALDEN, Mo. -- A Malden doctor, who formerly practiced in Poplar Bluff, Mo., and Doniphan, Mo., is free on bond after being arrested Friday on charges he inappropriately touched two female patients.

Dr. Martin McDonald, 52, was charged with two Class C felonies of sexual abuse by Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff. He is accused of providing what authorities described as unrequested breast exams.

McDonald, a family practice physician at the Pehlman Family Clinic on North Douglas in Malden, was arrested Friday afternoon after declining to be interviewed by officers with the Dunklin County Sheriff's Department, which were being assisted by officers of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

McDonald was booked at the Malden City Jail and subsequently transferred to the Dunklin County Jail on Friday, where he was released after posting a $25,000 bond.

The complaint on file with the court alleges on Aug. 24 and Sept. 3, McDonald subjected each woman to "sexual contact by the use of forcible compulsion, to-wit: by grabbing her breast."

A resident of Wappapello, Mo., McDonald was charged after the sheriff's department received complaints from three women.

One woman reported to Deputy Pam Buchanan she went to the Phelman Family Clinic on Aug. 12 to see McDonald, who required her to been seen once a month for a refill on her anti-anxiety medication.

According to Buchanan's probable cause affidavit filed with the court, the woman had been a patient of McDonald's since 2005.

"During these office visits, Dr. McDonald would expose (the woman's) breast," Buchanan said.

A second woman, Buchanan said, went to her appointment on Aug. 24, and during the exam McDonald "placed his stethoscope under (her) right breast, then the left breast."

McDonald allegedly moved his stethoscope around under the second woman's breast "until he pulled (her) left breast out of the bra," Buchanan explained. "Then, cupping his hand over the breast, placed the stethoscope on the upper part of the breast, exposing (her) breast."

The third incident allegedly happened on Sept. 3 and involved a woman who needed a work excuse, Buchanan said.

The third woman, Buchanan said, was put into contact with McDonald by a friend, who was a patient of McDonald and arranged for him to come to the woman's Stocklan Street home.

"Dr. McDonald raised (the third woman's) shirt and began squeezing her breast," Buchanan explained.

McDonald, according to Buchanan, is on probation through the State Board of Registration for Healing Arts for engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient for 30 days in 2005 and for inappropriately and unnecessarily performing breast examinations.

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