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West Virginia Doctor Sentenced To Probation For Sticking Tongue In Elderly Patient’s Mouth

A doctor in West Virginia convicted of sticking his tongue in the mouth of an elderly patient, who then partially bit off the physician’s tongue, will not serve any time in prison.

Dr. Kenneth Seen, 53, of Spencer, W. Va., was sentenced to two years probation on Monday.

WSAZ-TV reports that he must also register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Seen was also found guilty of sexually motivated battery last month.

Police arrested Seen in October of 2012 when a woman claimed he had assaulted her elderly father.

Yvonne Wright reached out to the State Police department in September and reported that a doctor at Roane General Hospital assaulted her father John Shafer, 77, Sgt. Fred Hammack told the Charleston Daily Mail last year.

According to complaints filed at the time, Shafer suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia and went back to Roane General after getting treatment at Cabell Huntington Hospital for breaking a hip.

Hospital workers told Wright that her father had bitten the tongue off his attending physician, Seen, in August, and that they had to clean blood from Shafer’s face and remove part of the doctor’s tongue from his mouth. Shafer wasn’t hurt but died weeks later, in October.

Seen told physicians at the time that the patient grabbed his tongue and pulled him closer, although the 77-year-old had been confined to a bed and immobilized at Roane General Hospital, according to a criminal complaint.

Hammack wrote in the complaint that an emergency room doctor at Roane General who treated Seen, Dr. Jason Fincham, told authorities Seen had a “significant portion” of his tongue bitten off and that his claims of how the incident happened “could not be true.”

Hammack said Shafer was unable to pick up anything, let alone grab the doctor’s tongue and hold onto it.


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