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New allegations, lawsuit filed in alleged sex assault case involving Charleston doctor

 

New allegations against a Charleston gastroenterologist accused of sexually assaulting patients under anesthesia claim that health care workers reported seeing the doctor assault a patient but that nothing was done about it for months.

According to an amended lawsuit filed late last month by a woman suing Dr. Steven Matulis and his medical firm, Charleston Gastroenterology Associates, health care employees witnessed Matulis sexually assault patients under his care at least four times.

Health care professionals, a lawsuit states, witnessed alleged incidents on July 2015, Aug. 4, 2015, Dec. 1, 2015 and Jan. 8. Following an alleged incident in August 2015, a health care professional went to Dr. Jeremy Stapleton, an employee and member of Charleston Gastroenterology Associates, and reported that Matulis fondled a female patient was she was under anesthesia.

On Monday, another woman filed a lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court against Matulis and his medical firm. Kristin Ashley Hager accuses the doctor of sexually assaulting her beginning in September 2014.

Hager claims other doctors with the medical firm knew what he was doing and continued to employ him. She is represented by Parkersburg lawyer Kelly Guice.

No charges have been filed against Matulis. Kanawha prosecutors confirmed they were investigating the doctor on sexual assault allegations several days after a lawsuit was filed in April by a Boone County woman, identified only by her initials, “T.W.”

The woman was told in February, about a week after having a colonoscopy procedure, that she had been the victim of a sexual assault by Matulis. The woman is being represented by Charleston lawyers Ben Salango, Adam Campbell and Matthew Smith.

Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia was appointed to take over the investigation. Sorsaia didn’t have any update last month on the status of the investigation and he didn’t return a phone cal Wednesday.

Stapleton couldn’t be reached Tuesday for comment. His lawyer, Michael Carey, didn’t return a phone call Tuesday.

Matulis and his lawyer Ben Bailey haven’t commented about the allegations and couldn’t be reached Tuesday.

In May, Matulis stopped his medical practice and switched his license to practice medicine to inactive. Becoming inactive is something a doctor voluntarily does.

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1723 or follow @KateLWhite on Twitter.

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