An update on Sherri Moler's fight for justice
Sheri Moler may feel sick, but her actions have been heroic. I am grateful for brave people like her.
Thank you for your reporting on this and Sherri Moler's persistence. Maybe more reporting on the board who refused to act and the media that were too intimated to report?!
No words. There are just no fucking words for this motherfucking bullshit! 😡
I share your shock at the course of this case. I am a family doc with 40 years experience, currently specializing in child abuse prevention and policy. Furthermore, I served for 8 years on California's physician licensing board. This story makes me nauseated. Sheri, I am so, so sorry and want to apologize for this gross social failure. A society that legally considers a sexual assault as a minor crime which can be erased from the record is depraved. Sexist is too kind a criticism. A medical board that protects doctors and not the public is catastrophically inept and has 19th century values. Certainly a Board should not reveal the results or details of an ongoing investigation, but both not to have one and not have any response at all to a pained pleading human is professional elitism at its worse. The legislature should investigate this malfeasance. All the members deserve to be fired. You have been heroic. I hope you have the love of your family and a therapist if you need one. The chances are overwhelming that there are many more than 2 victims.
Re: Active silence: this description (along with the first time I encountered your descriptions of it in your writing in God Land) is a running theme in my story/perspective of childhood and coming of age in Northwest Iowa. I couldn't articulate it myself and therefore really struggled to make sense of it for a very long time. I am so grateful for the courage and persistence of folks like Sherri Moler (and you) for pushing back against it.
Thank you for this. This original story haunted me! I’m glad he was arrested, but so infuriated that he continued to be allowed to practice.
In honor of Sherri, I share this:
In the summer of 2021, I went for a Lasik consultation with Dr. Ejaz Husain of Associated Ophthalmologists in Des Moines. While we spoke in one of the exam rooms, he leaned over and squeezed my upper thigh. It was so surprising, I didn't know what to think. When he did it a second time, my mind still couldn't process it. After the third time, I just felt panic, ended the appointment abruptly, and ran out of there.
A week later, when I finally got myself together, I called his office and spoke with his officer manager to report what he'd done. I was shocked that she was NOT shocked by my report. Not at all. Because apparently he does this a lot, especially to his staff. She told me it had been addressed with him before, but he didn't think he was doing anything wrong, so he simply continued it. He'd convinced them that he's just an affectionate, touchy person, and it's not sexual. I told her, bullshit. Frankly, she didn't really sound like she believed it herself, but what is she going to do, talk trash about the man who signs her paycheck? I told her that, even if it's not sexual or a power move (which I don't believe for a moment), this kind of touching of patients and staff was highly inappropriate, especially when he'd already been told that it upset people when he did it. Any person who is told they are making someone uncomfortable and continue to do it is not a good person. He knows what he's doing.
I told her I was going to report him to the Board of Medicine. She sounded scared. She warned me he'd be upset and would likely call me about it. I was enraged. I told her if he called me, I'd immediately involve the police. I wasn't going to be harassed. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was nervous he'd just show up at my house one day, considering he could find out where I lived from my patient records.
I did report him to the Board of Medicine. I met with an investigator who was very kind and took down a lot of information. I knew nothing would happen. I just wanted to leave a paper trail. But I was still disappointed when I got the letter closing the complaint with no action. In the grand scheme of these cases, what happened to me was minor. But any time I think about it, it's upsetting. What a breach of the doctor/patient trust. But also, I get so upset for his staff having to endure that on a daily basis.
Bless Sherri and all the people like her continuing to fight the good fight.
Thank you for writing.
Thank you for shining a light into this dark corner of hypocrisy and cowardice.
I know this darkness and silence. Sheri Moler is a hero. Speaking truth to power is one of the hardest things we can do.
Thank you for reporting on this. It’s infuriating to listen to our state government vilify LGBTQ individuals - and insinuate trans people are pedophiles - while allowing actual pedophiles to practice medicine. Sherri Moler did everything she could to bring the problem to light. Shame on the board that took no action.
The hoops the system jumps through to protect those white men...
I am beyond outraged. Thank you for sharing this story that a whole range of powerful entities seem to want to disappear. It is tragic that this "doctor" could have been stopped from committing further abuse, but wasn't. If we can't protect the vulnerable, what use is any law or policy board?
I agree with Diane. What do these people have to say about their silence? Silence and inaction that allowed the abuse of another underaged victim to occur? Would they have remained silent if Sherri Moler was one of their daughters?
The arrogance! Doctors don't get special privileges because they are doctors. And women don't get heard just because they are women. I hope someone nails him good, and he gets jail time or a civil suit that damages him deeply. Enough of abuse by people we believe trustworthy.
This is tragic.
Systems of power exist to protect the powerful.
Vulnerable are vulnerable.
I know the silence.
The only people I know of who have been disciplined by boards haven’t deserved to be and have no recourse. The ones who need to be aren’t. This was one of the problems that led to an issue with prescription drugs nationwide, followed by an ugly backlash. Now patients who need them can’t get them and hospice physicians have been jailed for prescribing pain medication, and I’ve witnessed multiple CA board meetings in which advocates reporting this received no meaningful response.
The specialty of child abuse prevention does not have a good track record either. I have personal experience with that, but I speak to the literature. My statements don’t apply to any individual but merely acknowledge reality.
I appreciate Ms. Moler’s efforts.