Report: Former Cleveland Clinic doctor under investigation by state medical board following sexual assault allegations

Report: Former Cleveland Clinic doctor under investigation by state medical board following sexual assault allegations

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A former Cleveland Clinic doctor is being investigated by the Ohio Board of Medicine, following allegations of rape by two patients, according to a report from USA Today.

Dr. Ryan Williams, who is a colorectal specialist, was never charged with a crime, although both women filed reports detailing their claims.

The alleged rapes happened in 2008 and 2009.

Cleveland 19 News contacted the State Medical Board of Ohio, which could not confirm or deny an investigation into Williams, but released this statement.

"The State Medical Board of Ohio takes claims of sexual impropriety by licensees very seriously. The medical board has had a specific set of rules dealing specifically with the issue of sexual misconduct and these rules have been in place since 2006. In addition, the board refers matters to law enforcement and works with the law enforcement agency if possible. Having sufficient evidence to move forward to a formal action is always difficult in these matters. In addition, the confidentiality laws that protect the identity of the individuals involved prevent the Board from sharing details regarding investigations that did not lead to a formal action.

Cleveland Clinic released this statement shortly after the USA Today article was published on Jan. 5.

"Cleveland Clinic is strongly committed to protecting the rights and safety of our patients, visitors and caregivers from any type of inappropriate behavior. We have processes for employees and patients to report any concerns, which are then thoroughly investigated. In these cases, we immediately reported the accusations to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and cooperated fully with the investigations."

According to USA Today, Cleveland Clinic chose not to renew Williams' contract when it expired in 2017, but told reporters it was not a result of the allegations against Williams.

Following that, Williams got a job at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. We reached out to officials there, who told us Williams passed the standard background and criminal checks the institution performs on doctors, and said the allegations would not have shown up on their reports, because Williams was never formally charged.

The university told Cleveland 19 News Williams was first hired on August 1st of last year, but was put on paid leave after a USA Today reporter called, revealing the allegations of rape. They sent us this statement, explaining their application and vetting process.

The university takes these allegations of past misconduct seriously, and Dr. Williams was placed on administrative leave in December. We are actively investigating to ensure that patient safety at Ohio State was never compromised.

Cleveland 19 News obtained police reports from the Westlake Police Department, detailing their investigations into the rape accusations. USA Today reports a confidential settlement was reached with one of the women. The statue of limitations has passed to file a medical malpractice complaint.

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