30 plaintiffs now part of sexual misconduct lawsuit against Decatur Dr. Michael Dick

DECATUR, Ala. -- Doctor Michael Dick is facing criminal charges amid allegations by former patients that he engaged in harassment and sexual misconduct.

He is also facing a lawsuit alleging similar behavior and the number of plaintiffs is now up to 30, according to a Tuesday court filing.

Dr. Dick has denied any wrongdoing and is contesting the charges and claims against him.

His attorney in the criminal cases declined to comment Wednesday. His civil attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Dr. Dick is due in court in August for arraignment on a criminal charge alleging he sexually abused a disabled patient. He's scheduled to go on trial in September on harassment charges. He was found guilty in Decatur Municipal Court of one harassment charge -- involving a patient -- and then pleaded guilty to two similar charges in order to appeal all three to Morgan County Circuit Court.

He was arrested in March on the sexual abuse charge.

Dick is also facing more trouble on the civil side, as more former patients come forward with allegations.

Attorney Eric Artrip filed an updated complaint in the lawsuit Tuesday.

"Right now there are 30 women that have joined together," Artrip told WHNT News 19 Wednesday.  "Most all of these women were patients of his in the last two years. They didn’t come forward because they didn’t think they would be believed, and didn’t want to hold themselves up to the scrutiny that victims are subject to in this society."

The case against Dr. Dick started slowly

"We had one or two brave women come forward, go to the Decatur Police Department, go to the media, and when they got attention and we became their advocates, I think that’s when people really started coming out of the woodwork, and saying, ‘Hey, me too.’"

Artrip said he continues to hear complaints.

"I can tell you, we’ve been approached by women who were harassed by Doctor Dick 14, 15 years ago," Artrip said.

Those claims would be outside of criminal and civil statutes of limitations, he said. The updated lawsuit alleges Dick didn’t act like a normal doctor.

But, Artrip said, the female patients described a consistent pattern of conduct.

"Dr. Dick's behavior was very consistent," Artrip said, citing the patient allegations. "He would take the patient's clothes off more than was entirely necessary in order to perform the treatment he was administering. He would kiss them on the face, he would hug them inappropriately. He would kiss them on other parts of their body. These were neither welcomed nor were they invited. And they constitute a sexual assault."

Artip said for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, money is not the main point.

"Our victims are very concerned with making sure that Dr. Dick does not do this anymore."

Dr. Dick's medical license has been suspended since October 2018. The Alabama Medical Licensure Commission was weighing a permanent suspension in early 2019, but delayed ruling pending the resolution of Dr. Dick's criminal charges.

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