An Act criminalizing sexual assault by fraud by a medical professional

Lead Sponsors: Representative Kate Hogan and Senator Bruce E. Tarr

Under existing law, when a medical or healthcare professional knowingly induces a patient to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual touching by falsely representing that the act is necessary for a legitimate medical purpose, their behavior cannot be punished criminally. Where there is either consent by the patient or a lack of explicit objection to such conduct, and there is no physical force involved, these actions are not prosecutable under the current rape and sexual assault laws. Currently, more than 26 states have enacted laws to address this egregious behavior.


  • This conduct, perpetrated under the guise of medical or therapeutic “treatment,” violates public policy and undermines a victim's consent and their sense of personal autonomy.
  • It is important to make it clear that accomplishing sexual intercourse or sexual touching by means of fraud in these circumstances is appropriately condemnable as rape or sexual assault.

Legislative Fix

  • Criminalizes instances of fraud involving a medical or healthcare professional who knowingly deceives a patient into engaging in sexual intercourse or sexual touching for other than a legitimate medical purpose.
  • Eliminates the traditional elements of sexual assault crimes, including “force” and “nonconsent,” within these very specific circumstances.
  • Defines “medical or healthcare professional” to include groups of treatment providers who are in a position of trust and upon whom vulnerable victims rely for appropriate care and treatment.
  • Adds these crimes to the law on the statute of limitations for sexual assaults.