DECATUR, Ala. -- Dr. Michael Dick was found guilty of harassment involving a patient in Decatur Municipal Court after a two-hour trial Friday morning. The court found him guilty of three counts of harassment, and he’s facing a $500 fine and 30 days in jail on each count, according to court records.
He was found guilty on one charge today, and entered guilty pleas on two other counts, with the understanding he would appeal the verdicts to Morgan County Circuit Court. A judge has not set that date yet.
Ashley Newcom, one of the doctor's former patients, testified Dr. Dick asked her to get on an exam table, lay on her side and open and close her legs. Newcom said she felt uncomfortable when Dr. Dick told her, 'Oh, you're so flexible.'
Later in the exam, Newcom said Dr. Dick grabbed her case with his hands, commenting multiple times on her beauty and got close enough to her face she thought he was going to kiss her. At that point, she jerked back and told the defense attorney she was 'alarmed.'
Dr. Dick testified he often puts his hands on his patients' faces in order to look down their throat in order to spot sleep apnea in some cases. Also included in his testimony, the doctor said complimenting his patients, men and women, is part of his common medical examination in order to put them at ease "with their guard down." That helps them remember critical information, like their families' histories, Dick said.
Dr. Dick denied accusations he intended to make Newcom feel uncomfortable.
Dick had been charged earlier this year with harassment in complaints brought by former patients related to alleged incidents at his Decatur medical practice.
WHNT News 19 reached out to the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners. Wilson Hunter, the board's general counsel, provided this statement:
"We have been investigating Dr. Dick, and with the convictions, we can now take action without compromising the criminal case. Now, we will present the results of our own investigation, alongside the convictions, at the next board meeting. At that time, the board will determine whether and what charges may be filed."
There's also a civil case pending against Dr. Dick and, according to plaintiff's lawyers, at least 15 women are claiming they are victims of sexual assault by the doctor. You can read more about that case here.