Former UC Berkeley doctor accused of sexually assaulting patients
UC Berkeley Police have arrested a campus physician who provided health services to students for over 20 years for allegedly sexually molesting patients while they underwent medical examinations.
Robert Martin Kevess, 52, of Oakland, pleaded not guilty to six counts of sexually assaulting male patients beginning in 2006 at the University Health Service’s Tang Center during an afternoon arraignment in Alameda County Superior Court Thursday.
According to the university, one of Kevess’s patients approached the school’s health services medical director on March 23 with details of an illegal sexual encounter that occurred while he was being examined. A criminal investigation was launched into the incident, with authorities identifying at least five other alleged victims who been seen by Kevess as patients and reported that they were sexually molested.
- MORE: Criminal Complaint against Kevess (.pdf file from berkeley.edu)
Kevess, who was hired as a general care physician in 1989, was placed on leave from the health center on March 31. He resigned two weeks later.
Kevess surrendered to UC Police on Wednesday and was booked into Alameda County Jail. He remains free on bail after posting a $745,000 bond. His license to practice medicine in the state has been temporarily suspended, according to investigators.
In June 2010, Kevess underwent a university biennial medical re-credentialing process, which looked at complaints and other disciplinary items.
“No formal complaints had previously been submitted regarding the physician, and his most recent re-accreditation review — in July 2010 — identified no issues of concern,” Dr. Brad Buchman, medical director of the school’s Health Services, said in a written statement.
Investigators do not know whether there were additional victims who had been patients of Kevess. Victims are asked to contact UC Police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau at (510) 642-0472. Anonymous reports can be submitted through http://police.berkeley.edu/caltip.
“We continue to examine how this could have happened, and how we can assure that it will never happen again,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said in a written statement. “In the meantime, I can state with complete confidence that the UHS leadership and care providers remain focused on the needs of their patients, and on providing the highest possible levels of patient care, protection and education.”
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