The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:
A former doctor of osteopathic medicine who previously worked at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Beckley, West Virginia, was sentenced today for depriving veterans of their civil rights under color of law by sexually abusing them.
Yates previously pleaded guilty on Sept. 17, 2020, to three felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. According to the plea documents, Yates rubbed the genitals of two veterans and digitally penetrated a third veteran’s rectum under the guise of legitimate medicine, when in fact he acted without a legitimate medical purpose. This conduct, performed while Yates was acting under color of law in his capacity as a VA physician and a federal employee, deprived the veterans of their constitutional right to bodily integrity and caused them pain. According to the plea documents, the veterans had sought treatment from Yates to manage chronic pain through osteopathic manipulative therapy. Several veterans addressed the court at sentencing, describing the trauma and mental anguish that Yates had caused them. Yates surrendered his medical licenses as a condition of his plea agreement.