A surgeon has been placed on leave as Ohio State University looks into allegations of rape made against him by two patients.
The accusations come from 2008 and 2009, when Dr. Ryan Williams worked at the Cleveland Clinic, according to WKBN.
"He has been employed at Ohio State since August 1, 2017," Ohio State University spokesman Chris Davy stated, according to WKBN. "These disturbing allegations were unknown to Ohio State at the time of his hiring."
Davy noted that the university followed the normal screening procedures when Williams, a colorectal surgeon, was hired.
USA Today found in its investigation that Cleveland Clinic was aware of at least two allegations against Williams, but kept him on the books while reaching confidential settlements.
According to a police report from April 2008, Lachelle Duncan, one of Williams' patients, said the doctor inserted his penis into her rectum during a rectal examination.
"Why did he do it?" she shouted afterwards, according to the report cited by USA Today. "Why did you do this?"
"I don't know," Williams reportedly replied, while holding his head in his hands.
Williams was not prosecuted for the incident. A rape kit used by Duncan proved inconclusive.
Duncan sued Williams and the Cleveland Clinic, resulting in the confidential settlement.
The second case involved Kristin Fehr, who visited Williams in February 2009 to have a hemorrhoid removed. She alleged that Williams took her into the examination room and said she had to take two white pills.
Fehr said that she remembered feeling groggy on the examination table and as she left the clinic. In 2014, she began having flashbacks, alleging that she remembered being pushed from behind and when she turned around, she saw Williams holding his penis.
"Everything I was remembering was disturbing," Fehr stated.
According to state rules, medical practitioners "have a duty to report colleagues, coworkers and staff members who have violated rules, laws and ethics standards. Failure to report can result in a fine of up to $20,000 and disciplinary action up to the permanent revocation of their license," WKBN reported.
Heather Phillips, a spokeswoman for Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today that Williams left the hospital in August 2017 for unrelated reasons.
"We take any allegation very seriously and act in a swift manner to address them," said Phillips.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and rape cases is one year. Fehr has therefore lost her chance to sue Williams or the hospital over the alleged incident.
Duncan's lawsuit against the hospital and Williams was referred to as a "miscellaneous tort claim," since it was filed more than one year after the alleged incident.