Former Cleveland Clinic surgeon accused of raping patients

Ohio State University Dr. Ryan Williams has been placed on administrative leave

Ryan Williams, accused of raping patients at Cleveland Clinic
Credit: WCMH

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A doctor at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations that he raped two patients during procedures at the Cleveland Clinic in 2008 and 2009.

Dr. Ryan Williams, a colorectal surgeon, was on staff at Cleveland Clinic at the time of the alleged assaults.

According to a published report in USA Today, Williams was kept on staff at the Clinic while the hospital participated in a negotiated confidential settlement with one of the alleged victims.

The newspaper cited a 2008 Westlake Police Department report that details one of the accusers’ encounter with Williams. She told police Williams was performing a rectal exam when he inserted himself into her. She said she saw him holding his genitals in his hand.

According to the USA Today report, a rape kit test was inconclusive and criminal charges were never filed. But a lawsuit filed against the doctor and the Cleveland Clinic resulted in a confidential settlement.

A second accuser told USA Today Williams assaulted her during an office procedure in 2009.

Williams was hired last summer by Ohio State. University Spokesman Chris Davey issued the following statement:

USA Today outlined serious allegations against Dr. Ryan Williams while he was employed at the Cleveland Clinic. He has been employed at Ohio State since August 1, 2017. These disturbing allegations were unknown to Ohio State at the time of his hiring.

The university takes these allegations of past misconduct seriously, and Dr. Williams was placed on administrative leave in December. We are actively investigating to ensure that patient safety at Ohio State was never compromised.

When hiring a physician, we adhere strictly to the background check requirements and policies of the Joint Commission and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Background checks include information from the Ohio State Medical Board, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the National Practitioner Databank and the previous employer and peers.

Our preliminary review indicates that these processes were followed appropriately in the hiring of Dr. Williams. We continue to review our processes to ensure they meet the highest standards.”

The State Medical Board of Ohio would not confirm whether it had ever been notified of the allegations against Dr. Williams but there is no record of any disciplinary action ever taken. State rules say licensed physicians “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.”

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