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UPDATE | Psych evaluation requested for former West Virginia doctor convicted of sexual abuse

(WSAZ)
Published: Jun. 1, 2018 at 4:47 PM EDT
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UPDATE 8/27/19 @ 11:35 a.m.

A psychological evaluation is being sought in a sexual misconduct lawsuit against a former West Virginia doctor convicted of sexual abuse.

Steven Matulis, a former a gastroenterologist from Charleston, was convicted in 2018 of sexually abusing an unconscious patient.

News outlets report the attorneys representing Matulis' former patients requested the evaluation.

Matulis was convicted of sexual abuse in October of 2018 after being tried on allegations that he touched unconscious patients' breasts and vaginas without their consent. He was sentenced to up to five years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Attorney Ben Salango says in the motion that employees describe Matulis as infatuated with sex and power, calling into question his mental state.

Matulis' attorney, Isaac Forman, said Matulis' mental health isn't at issue and the referenced infatuation doesn't relate to any recognized psychiatric diagnosis.

UPDATE 11/5/18 @ 5:55 p.m.

A medical doctor convicted of sexually abusing an unconscious patient was sentenced Monday to one to five years in prison.

Dr. Steven Matulis, a gastroenterologist from Charleston, also was sentenced to a $10,000 fine.

After his release, Matulis will be subject to a "post-conviction supervision" of five years.

He is accused of inappropriately touching a patient who was under anesthesia.

The defense argued to have a second trial, but Kanawha County Circuit Judge Duke Bloom denied the motion.


UPDATE 10/5/18 @ 7:30 p.m.

A medical doctor accused of sexual abuse while patients were sedated was convicted by a jury Friday of one count of first-degree sexual abuse, according to the prosecutor in the case.

Dr. Steven Matulis, a gastroenterologist from Charleston, faces at least a year in prison -- and possibly up to five years behind bars.

Matulis will have to register as a sex offender. The case involved one of Matulis' patients.

He was found not guilty of two second-degree sexual assault charges.

Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia said there was considerable work put into the case by many different people, referring to it as one of the most complicated of his career.

"We are pleased that we were able to obtain a felony conviction," said Sorsaia, who's the prosecutor in Putnam County and served as a special prosecutor in the Matulis case. "And it reinforced the concept that the medical community has to respect the trust given to them by their patients."

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


UPDATE 9/24/18 @ 12:31 p.m.

Witnesses testified Monday against a West Virginia doctor accused of sexual abuse.

The trial for Dr. Steven Matulis, of Charleston, will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 1.

In his pretrial hearing Monday, the state called two witnesses who worked with Matulis. The defense also called a witness to the stand -- a doctor who previously worked with Matulis.

The gastroenterologist is accused of sexually assaulting and abusing patients while they were unconscious during procedures. His charges are four counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. Originally, Matulis faced an additional county of sexual assault and an additional county of sexual abuse, but those two counts were dropped because of legal technicalities.

He pleaded not guilty in June.


UPDATE 9/13/18 @ 4 p.m.

Two charges have been dropped against a West Virginia doctor who faces multiple sexual abuse allegations.

Putnam County Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia says Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom dismissed one count of sexual assault and another of sexual abuse against Dr. Steven Matulis, of Charleston, during a Wednesday afternoon hearing. The two counts were dropped because of legal technicalities.

The gastroenterologist is accused of sexually assaulting and abusing patients while they were unconscious during procedures. His charges now are four counts of second-degree sexual assault and one of first-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty in June.

Bloom said the time span and lack of clear identity for the victim or victims in the counts that he dismissed did not enable Matulis to provide evidence to defend himself.

Matulis' trial is scheduled to start Oct. 1. A pre-trial hearing is set for Sept. 24.


UPDATE 6/6/18 @ 3:50 p.m.

A Charleston doctor facing multiple counts of sexual assault has posted bond, Kanawha County court officials say.

Dr. Steven Matulis on Wednesday afternoon posted $50,000 cash bond. He also surrendered his passport and is required to be on home confinement.

Earlier Wednesday, Matulis pleaded not guilty to the charges. He faces seven felonies: five counts of sexual assault in the second degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. In all, he faces up to 135 years in jail.

Matulis is a former gastroenterologist accused of touching women while they were sedated during medical procedures.

His trial is set for Oct. 1.


UPDATE 6/6/18 @ 10:21 a.m.

A Charleston doctor who is facing multiple counts of sexual assault has pleaded not guilty.

Dr. Steven Matulis is charged with seven felonies: five counts of sexual assault in the second degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. In all, he faces up to 135 years in jail.

On Wednesday, he appeared in a Kanawha County courtroom where he entered a not guilty plea. His trial was scheduled for Oct. 1.

Dr. Matulis is a former gastroenterologist accused of touching women while they were sedated during medical procedures.

"The evidence indicated in the case that the victims were sedated," said Mark Sorsaia, the Putnam County prosecutor and special prosecutor on this case. "They had no clue what happened because they were under sedation."

Judge Duke Bloom set bail at $50,000 cash only. Dr. Matulis has until 4 p.m. to post it. If he makes bond then he will be placed on home confinement and have to surrender his passport.


UPDATE 6/1/18 @ 10:13 p.m.

A Charleston doctor faces multiple counts of sexual assault after being indicted by a grand jury. Dr. Steven Matulis is a former gastroenterologist accused of touching women while they were sedated during medical procedures.

Dr. Steven Matulis is charged with seven felonies: five counts of sexual assault in the second degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree. In all, he faces up to 135 years in jail.

The indictment alleges that from spring 2015 into early 2016, Dr. Matulis touched a number of victims while they were “physically helpless.”

“The evidence indicated in the case that the victims were sedated,” said Mark Sorsaia, the Putnam County prosecutor and special prosecutor on this case. “They had no clue what happened because they were under sedation.”

Sorsaia was brought in to work the case due to conflicts in the Kanawha County Prosecutors Office, adding this has been a complicated investigation.

“You know there's a lot of different witnesses on a lot of different events, a lot of different perspectives of what people could see and couldn't see,” he said.

Dr. Matulis is a gastroenterologist. A spokesperson with CAMC said he did not work for them but had privileges to perform procedures there. Those privileges were revoked once CAMC officials learned of the allegations reported to police.

WSAZ reached out Dr. Matulis’ attorney. Ben Bailey. He said in a statement: “This indictment highlights public misconceptions about the practice of medicine. Dr. Matulis is a well-trained and well educated physician with deep roots in West Virginia whose actions were consistent with his oath to put patients first. Had anyone asked him to explain the procedures at the time, perhaps this could have been avoided. That said, we are looking forward to having our case heard in a court of law where facts and medicine will prevail for my client."


ORIGINAL STORY 6/1/18

A gastroenterologist based in Charleston has been indicted on seven felony counts of sexual assault and abuse connected with patients.

The indictment against Dr. Steven Matulis was handed down Friday afternoon in Kanawha County Court.

Matulis is accused of the incidents while his patients were sedated and under his medical care.

The indictment alleges the incidents happened in August 2015, December 2015, May 2015, and January and February of 2016.

According to Mark Sorsaia, the special prosecutor on the case, CAMC staff notified Charleston Police of what they believed was inappropriate behavior during certain medical procedures. The case was turned over to the Kanawha County Prosecutor's office, but due to a conflict of interest the case was handed over to Sorsaia who is the prosecutor in Putnam County.

"This was a complicated investigation because there's a lot of different witnesses on a lot of different events, a lot of different perspectives on what people could and couldn't see," Sorsaia said. "And then you have to explore the medical aspect of the case to make sure, OK, was there a medical reason for this?"

A spokesperson for Charleston Area Medical Center tells WSAZ said that Dr. Matulis was not an employee but had privileges to work at CAMC. Those privileges were revoked when the allegations were reported to police.

Dr. Matulis' attorney Ben Bailey released the following statement:

"This indictment highlights public misconceptions about the practice of medicine. Dr. Matulis is a well-trained and well educated physician with deep roots in West Virginia whose actions were consistent with his oath to put patients first. Had anyone asked him to explain the procedures at the time, perhaps this could have been avoided. That said, we are looking forward to having our case heard in a court of law where facts and medicine will prevail for my client."

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.