On Monday, a former Veterans Administration doctor was sentenced to a 25-year stint in prison for sexually violating three of his patients, according to officials.

Fifty-two-year-old Jonathan Yates engaged in abuses while employed as a physician at the Beckley VA Medical Center in West Virginia, according to court papers.

The former doctor pleaded guilty in September to three felony counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, making shocking confessions to having played with the genitals of two veterans and penetrating a third with his finger when the patient came to him for treatment regarding chronic pain issues.

“In a despicable betrayal of his oath, he used his specialized medical knowledge and expertise to sexually abuse his own patients,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gregory Friel of the Civil Rights Division, whose office was charged with prosecuting the case, said in a statement. “It is a testament to the bravery of our veterans that so many came forward to bring this defendant to justice.”

Soon after the charges came to light, Yates was fired from the VA medical center and voluntarily gave up his license to practice medicine as part of his plea deal made with the Southern District of West Virginia.

In one of the depraved incidents, Yates was said to have molested a patient in the examination room in February of 2019. 

After making sure the door was locked, he requested his veteran patient to take off his clothes, then made the remark, “Boxer briefs — my favorite. Keeps everything tight and in place,” as reported by the federal complaint. 

Yates then began to massage the patient’s private area with his bare hands before playfully smacking his backside. According to court papers, the 42-year old veteran with a “service-connected disability” told Yates to stop, but he refused.

It was reported in a witness statement that Yates then went on to crack the veteran’s neck in a way that made him go numb before the doctor continued with the abuse, according to officials.  

“He was not supposed to do this,” the accuser said in a witness complaint. 

“I made it clear from the beginning of this session that he was not to crack my neck. I was in shock, could not even speak.” 

The doctor was said to have then groped the veteran once again in the barred examination room, as reported in the complaint. 

“Immediately after Dr. Yates immobilized veteran 1 with the neck crack and while veteran 1 was unable to resist, Dr. Yates physically rolled veteran 1 back onto his stomach pulled down veteran 1’s underwear without permission,” the complaint states.

The veteran says that he was then able to leave, where he describes that he immediately “went to the gas station bathroom and used multiple sanitary wipes because I felt dirty after that encounter,” as reported in his statement.

The doctor also was said to have complained to other healthcare workers at the VA facility about the molestation he was practicing, going so far as to grumble that he couldn’t take his abuse with his patients further. 

“I’m not able to explore the things I’d like to with some of the guys because I’m a married man and my wife wouldn’t understand,” Yates said to another doctor who worked beside him, as written in the complaint.

Yates, who was married, conducted osteopathic manipulative therapy at the VA Medical Center, which entails realignmenting joints to alleviate pain, as described by prosecutors.

Yates was arrested in early April of 2020. E. Ward Morgan, the lawyer for Yates, has not yet returned requests for comment to the press.


  1. 25 years for groping a few adult males? The violation of trust was much much worse then the acts.
    maybe 5 years? 8 if you’re trying to make an example. 25
    years is just belligerent nerd shit from people who understand nothing about life or the world.
    Why are judges such absolute fuckboiz.

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