Q: What happened to Dr. William Miofsky, the anesthesiologist at Sutter Hospital who was accused in a scandal involving sexual abuse of sedated patients in the 1980s?
Dan, Gold River
A: Several nurses at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento came forward in 1979 to accuse William E. Miofsky, the hospital’s chief anesthesiologist, of having sex with anesthetized female patients, including a 12-year-old girl.
According to stories in The Sacramento Bee, Miofsky pleaded no contest to three of seven felony counts filed against him and was sentenced to a term of eight years and eight months. He was released from full-time commitment at Atascadero State Hospital in 1985, and he was formally released from outpatient status in 1991.
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The Bee reported in 1996 that Miofsky was marrying a woman he met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Southern California, where he was living. Since his release, he had worked as a restaurant inspector for the Los Angeles County Health Department and on the Southern California Medfly eradication project.
In addition to the criminal charges against Miofsky, 158 civil suits were filed against him and the hospital, which had been accused of acting too slowly on the allegations. The lawsuits were consolidated and settled in 1983 for several million dollars.