AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

No trial, no jail for some sex abusers

Continuing public outrage over the sentence given in a Stanford rape case has prompted the judge to recuse himself from a child pornography case. A Massachusetts judge is under fire for giving a former high school star athlete two years’ probation after he was accused of sexually assaulting two unconscious classmates.

The public was alerted in those cases because criminal courtrooms are open to the public and Americans have a presumed right of access to many court records.

But doctors who sexually violate patients may never face police, judge or jury, the AJC reports in its latest installment of a national investigation. Instead, they may answer only to medical regulators, whose investigations and hearings are often confidential. You can read the latest stories by clicking here.

There was no public outrage when these doctors quietly retired - or returned to practice after therapy. Only those savvy enough to dig up medical regulators' orders might know  if sexually abusive doctors face the same consequences as those in other walks of life.

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About the Author

Lois Norder is Senior Editor for Investigations in the newsroom at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.