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Date: 04-03-2020

Case Style:

United States of America v. Dr. Jonathan Yates

Case Number: 5:20-mj-00017

Judge: Omar J. Aboulhosn

Court: United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia

Plaintiff's Attorney: Samantha Trepel and Kyle Boynton

Defendant's Attorney:


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Beckley, WV - The United States of America charged Dr. Jonathan Yates with depriving another of rights under color of law.

A doctor of osteopathic medicine who formerly worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, has been charged in a criminal complaint with depriving a veteran of his civil rights under color of law. Dr. Jonathan Yates, 51, was arrested without incident at his home today by Special Agents of the FBI and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Bluefield, Virginia Police Department. Dr. Yates is scheduled for an initial appearance today at time before U.S. Magistrate Judge Omar Aboulhosn.

Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, U.S. Attorney Michael B. Stuart for the Southern District of West Virginia, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Eugene Kowel, and Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael J. Missal announced the charge.

According to the criminal complaint, while working at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in February 2019, Yates examined a male patient identified as Veteran 1, and during the examination Yates sexually molested Veteran 1. Yates caused Veteran 1 severe pain and numbness, and temporarily incapacitated him by cracking his neck, after Veteran 1 had explicitly requested Yates not to crack his neck. While Veteran 1 was incapacitated, Yates sexually molested Veteran 1 again. This conduct, performed while Dr. Yates was acting under color of law in his capacity as a federal employee at the VAMC, deprived Veteran 1 of his constitutional right to bodily integrity.

Deprivation of rights under color of law as charged in the complaint is punishable by up to life in prison.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Veterans Affairs Police Department. The U.S. Attorney’s Office sought immediate detention in this matter.

Outcome: The charge contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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