Bill aimed at preventing sexual assault at the doctor's office

CHEYENNE, Wy.(KGWN)- House bill 96 was submitted on Monday February 5 and is 16 pages long.

The first section of the bill would make it a requirement for a specified individual to be present to during certain medical treatments and exams. The specified individual would be the same sex as the patient or parent/guardian during any exam of an intimate part of the body.

This section also would require health care providers to give verbal and written notice of the requirements before the exam/treatment begins. At this time a patient may waive the requirements by signing a written notice.

A Provider wouldn’t have to comply if:
-they don’t employ an employee of the same sex as the patient, expect when the provider treats or examines an intimate part of patients that are under 18.
-they are providing emergency care.

The bill also has other elements including listing any sexual intrusion during an exam would be listed as second degree sexual assault.

Another element would make changes to health care provider records. The bill states if a person has pled guilty, no contest or been convicted of sexual assault will not be eligible for an expungement of records of conviction. This would be denied whether or not the offense occurred in within the scope of the providers practice or employment.

Under this bill health care providers would also be required to submit fingerprints in order to obtain state and national criminal history records.

The measure also states the board of nursing can refuse to issue, renew, suspend or revoke a license or certificate if they have committed sexual misconduct or fail to comply with the specified individual during intimate exams requirement.

HB96 is sponsored by Representative Debbie Bovee of Natrona County. In an exclusive statement to CBS Newschannel 5 Bovee tells us, “After meeting with one of the victims of Dr. Harnetty it seemed clear to me that the system failed these women. Wyoming is one of a very small handful of states that does not require a criminal background check of doctors. Had a check been done of this man, these women may never had to endure the terrible things this man did to them.”

Bovee is referring to Dr. Harnetty, a Casper gynecologist who was recently convicted of 2 counts of sexual assault in January. The court documents say he sexually assaulted 2 of his patients in Casper but he was also investigated for sexual assault in Georgia back in 2010.

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