A former Texas doctor who raped a “heavily sedated” patient will not serve any jail time after he was found guilty of the crime Thursday.
Shafeeq Sheikh, a former Baylor College of Medicine physician, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. He was also fined $10,000 (£7,800).
Five female and seven male jurors recommended the sentencing after deliberating for 14 hours at the Harris County Family Law Center in Houston, Texas.
State law required Judge Terry Flenniken to follow the recommendation, the Houston Chronicle reported.
In 2013, a woman, identified in local media as Laura, checked into Ben Taub Hospital in Houston after experiencing shortness of breath and wheezing; she was kept overnight and sedated.
Police said Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh went into her room several times through the night and sexually assaulted her.
Laura attempted to call for help, but the nurse’s button was unplugged.
At trial, Sheikh admitted to having sexual contact with her during a night shift at the hospital but claimed it was consensual.
The woman was not assigned as Sheikh’s patient, the Houston Chronicle reported.
A rape kit linked Sheikh to the crime and hospital cameras caught him on the same floor as the patient who was assaulted.
He was charged two years after the assault. The Texas Medical Board revoked his license in 2015.
At sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reeder told jurors he knew what medications Laura had been prescribed based on her medical chart.
“He sought her out,” she said. “He chose her to prey on”.
She added: “You know he’s the type of man who would go in multiple times, testing the waters, seeing how far he could go and get back to his normal business after that.”
In an interview with KHOU-TV, Laura said she believes there are other victims.
“Of course, yes, and the reason I think so is because this person had everything very organized,” she told the Houston TV station. “I’m not only Laura; I represent lots of women, women who’ve been raped and mistreated.”