Doctor note to self: Next time I molest a kid, I’ll remember to turn off the security camera

 

Dr. Samuel Bracken

Dr. Samuel Bracken

As a private investigator, not much shocks Steve Powers anymore.

But a situation involving Doctor Samuel Bracken of Dublin, Ohio a few weeks ago was certainly a first.

Dr Big Brothers Big Sisters

His company, Powers Investigations, had installed a security-camera system inside the retired doctor’s home, after Bracken said that his wife required in-home nursing care and he wanted to keep an eye on the caregivers.

The cameras went in and all seemed fine. Then the doctor called to ask if the cameras were working properly. Bracken gave Powers permission to tap into the system remotely. And Powers immediately saw a video of Bracken fondling a teenage boy flash up on his own screen.

That’s when Powers called the Dublin police department.

The investigation revealed that the 74-year-old doctor, a retired OB/Gyn specialist, had two separate sexual encounters with a 15-year old boy, at least one involving oral sex.

Of concern to law enforcement is that Bracken had been a mentor with Big Brothers/Big Sisters Ohio program for years. That organization ended its relationship with Bracken after learning of the investigation.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters spokeswoman Mary Palkowski issued a statement to reporters. “We worked with law enforcement to investigate Doctor Bracken’s involvement with our program. We’ve determined that the child involved is not a participant in our mentoring programs.”

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said there were no other known victims, but the investigation was ongoing. “Anytime you have someone with that kind of access to children, you consider the possibility,” O’Brien said. “Sometimes, once charges are filed, others feel it’s safe to come forward.”

Bracken, MD will be sentenced in April.

For private investigator Powers, whose family has operated a security business for years, this was a first. A large part of their business, he said, involves security cameras.

“People sometimes want ‘nanny cams’ to check up on baby-sitters and caregivers,” he said. “But I’d never been asked to review a tape by a man, only to find him doing something like this.”

http://www.times-gazette.com/ap%20state/2013/02/27/retired-ohio-physician-pleads-to-sex-charges

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Case follow-up:

 Dr. Samuel Bracken Jr., 74, was issued a sentence of 4-year Probation, with no jail time, on April 18, 2013.

Judge Alan Travis, in Franklin County Ohio Common Pleas Court, said he considered Bracken’s age and declining health, and a pre-sentencing report which indicated he had a “very low” risk of committing such a crime again.

Judge Travis told Bracken that he could be sent to prison for three years if he violates the sexual-offender supervision. He also fined Bracken $5,000 and ordered him to register as a sex offender.

Our Observation:

Every now and then when a doctor is charged with screwy behavior, we notice the long line of web commenters who invariably say some version of this:

“There is no way somebody as smart and educated as a doctor would do ________ ” (go ahead, name your crime)

To which we reply that they evidently haven’t visited the MedicalMiscreant website. Five minutes here will edify that physicians can be as off-the-chart stupid as anybody.

But we certainly tip our cap to Steve Powers, for doing the right thing.

(We are indepted to reporters Holly Zacharia and Misti Crane for their research in this story)

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3 thoughts on “Doctor note to self: Next time I molest a kid, I’ll remember to turn off the security camera

  1. maxbright says:

    The case of William Miofsky, M.D.

    At first Sandra Doll Neri could not believe her eyes. She was a nurse in the operating room at Sutter Memorial Hospital, Sacramento, Calif. Dr. Calvin O’Kane, one of Sacramento’s most respected surgeons, had opened the abdomen of a fifty-year-old woman and was working. The anesthesiologist, Dr. William Miofsky, stood less than two feet away but in relative isolation, behind a semicircular screen that separated him from the operating team. Nurse Neri saw that Dr. Miofsky had his groin in the woman’s face. He was moving gently, forward, then back.

    Nurse Neri was young, but she had already had full exposure to medical au¬thority. She knew that any claim a mere nurse might make against a physician would stand no more chance than a duck in the Indianapolis 500. So she stepped into an adjoining room and asked another nurse, Arlene Lanch, to have a look. The nurse looked and came back aghast. “I think he’s putting his penis in the patient’s mouth,” she said.

    Neri eventually testified at the preliminary hearing in superior court that commenced Miofsky’s prosecution, on seven counts of sex perversion involving six patients. “I was walking by the anesthesiologist, and I glanced to my left and noticed he had his penis in the patient’s mouth,” she said. “I was in shock. I just couldn’t believe what I had seen…. He [was] still standing up by the patient’s head, leaning over the operating field, moving back and forth. It was very subtle and slow.”

    The two nurses notified Allyne Waters, the chief O.R. nurse. She took a look and saw twitches in the patient’s toes, a sign that the anesthesia was wearing off. Ms. Waters told Miofsky about this, and he gave his patient more anesthetic. (The surgeon at the time) Doctor O’Kane dismissed what the nurses said as nonsense. Meanwhile, lowly RNs chafed and simmered at their powerlessness to prevent the anesthesiologist’s weird pleasures.

    The nurses finally organized, making notes and conducting their own investigation. On January 7, 1979, they saw Miofsky in action on a twelve-year-old girl. They submitted a three-page report to William Schaeffer, the hospital administrator.

    There was no action. Finally, the nurses filed a report with the county medical society, which confronted Miofsky. The anesthetist collapsed emotionally, resigned from the hospital staff, and eventually attempted suicide.

    Some of Miofsky’s fellow physicians stood by him. There was even talk of letting him go back to work, perhaps treating only male patients. But the district attorney stepped in and started prosecuting. Soon the insurance company tried to cancel Miofsky’s malpractice insurance.

    Suddenly hundreds of patients started having bad dreams. Some became sick to their stomachs, and found twilight memories coming into focus. 155 women and 85 men (mostly husbands of patients) have sued for almost $500 million in damages.

    “Now so far the only problem is his ‘alleged’ sexual behavior,” Dr. William E. Dozier, chairman of the hospital’s medical staff, told the Sacramento Bee. “There is absolutely … no allegation about anything wrong with his professional practice of anesthesiology.”

    Miofsky later pleaded no contest to three sexual-abuse felony counts in a deal that sent him to a state mental hospital instead of a prison.

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