HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – A Huntington physician arrested in late May on allegations he raped a former employee admitted to lesser charges of sexual battery on Monday.
Dr. John Mathew pleaded guilty in Huntington Circuit Court to two charges of sexual battery related to repeated incidents of inappropriate behavior with an employee that began in July of 2014, about eight months after the employee had started working for Mathew at Huntington Medical Group. Additional charges of battery were dropped as part of the plea agreement with prosecutors.
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office said that in 2014, Mathew committed battery on two separate occasion, and, in 2015 and 2016, he committed rape and inappropriately touched a victim.
The investigation began on Jan. 21, 2016, a day after one of the incidents occurred, when an officer with the Huntington Police Department interviewed the victim.
Through the course of the investigation, which involved interviews with multiple employees, it was noted several times that Dr. Mathew had a reputation as being “touchy, feely” and that some employees had also reported inappropriate behavior on the part of Mathew.
A doctor who had worked with Mathew from 2002 to 2013 was also interviewed and told investigators that she was aware of an alleged incident of inappropriate behavior between doctor Mathew and one of his employees. Another former employee also claimed Dr. Mathew had her perform the duties of a nurse, even though she had been hired as a secretary. That person also claimed Dr. Mathew billed anywhere between five and eight patients that he had not actually seen.
Mathew was arrested June 1. In September, the Indiana Medical Licensing Board on Thursday approved an emergency suspension of his license.
Mathew’s plea deal does not call for a recommended sentence. He faces between six months and five years, according to Indiana Code sentencing guidelines. He will be sentenced April 17.