federal grand jury in Charleston, West Virginia, today returned a
seven-count indictment charging Dr. Jonathan Yates, 51, with federal
civil rights and abusive sexual contact offenses. Yates, a doctor of
osteopathic medicine who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical
Center in Beckley, West Virginia, is charged with five counts of
depriving veterans of their civil rights under color of law, in
violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, and two counts
of abusive sexual contact, in violation of Title 18, United States Code,
Section 2244(b). He was previously charged in a criminal complaint with
depriving a veteran of his civil rights under color of law.
The indictment alleges that between September 2018 and February 2019,
while working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Yates
examined six male patients, identified in the indictment as Veterans One
through Six, and sexually molested them during their appointments. The
indictment alleges that Yates temporarily immobilized two of the
veterans – one by cracking his neck, and the other with the use of
acupuncture needles – and sexually molested them while they were
incapacitated. The indictment also alleges that his abuses caused five
of the veterans to suffer bodily injury. This conduct, performed while
Dr. Yates was acting under color of law in his capacity as a federal
employee at the VAMC, deprived Veterans One through Five of their
constitutional right to bodily integrity. The indictment also alleges
that Yates knowingly engaged in sexual contact with Veterans Two and Six
without their consent.
This investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with additional
information is encouraged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI
An indictment is merely a formal accusation of criminal conduct. The
defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted, Yates faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.
Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney Michael B.
Stuart for the Southern District of West Virginia commended the
investigative efforts of the FBI, the Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Inspector General, and the Veterans Affairs Police Department
in this matter.
The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Samantha
Trepel and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division of
the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McVey of
the Southern District of West Virginia.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website
of the District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at http://www.wvsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.wvsd.uscourts.gov/.