Update 1/29/20: The name of an attorney who made arguments for Dr. Mark Dean has been corrected.
Counsel for an Albemarle County doctor charged with sexually assaulting patients likely will be granted access to his accusers’ medical records ahead of an August trial.
Dr. Mark Hormuz Dean was arrested in January 2018 and has been accused of sexual assault by several women who were his patients at Albemarle Pain Management Associates between 2011 and 2017.
He currently faces four separate criminal trials, as well as a lawsuit, in Albemarle County Circuit Court.
The first criminal trial will begin in August and is expected to last five days. The trial initially was set for April 2019, but has been delayed multiple times since Dean waived his right to a speedy trial.
A hearing on Tuesday concerned four motions to quash filed by the commonwealth that seek to prevent Dean and his counsel from accessing various private medical documents.
Judge Humes J. Franklin did not issue a formal order, but indicated that he believes the defense is entitled to subpoena the medical records. Franklin said his thinking is in part informed by a lawsuit filed by Dean’s first accuser, which he said causes the cases to “wash over each other.”
Representing the first victim, identified as AS, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Richard Farley said it would be improper for the court to grant the defense access to the medical documents, in part citing federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protections.
Farley also described the attempts to gain access to these documents as a “fishing expedition” without any clear material goal.
A representative from the Region Ten Community Services Board, which the defense argues also has responsive documents, said that due to the nature of the treatment it provides, it is not legally allowed to acknowledge whether it may have any such documents.
Elise Haverman, an attorney for Dean, disagreed and said that the request has a narrow scope, starting at the beginning of 2018, around the time Dean was arrested.
All of the requests are material and relevant to the defense’s theory of the case, he said, and also would be subject to a protective order preventing the unauthorized release of sensitive medical information.
Haverman also referenced AS’s lawsuit, in which she alleges significant physical and psychological pain and seeks nearly $3 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
“This is a ‘he said/she said’ case, so [the requested medical records] would go a long way to speaking to her credibility,” Haverman said.
AS’ complaint names numerous adverse effects of Dean’s alleged sexual assault, including physical pain, depression, anxiety, nightmares, humiliation, mental anguish, suicidal ideation and others.
Franklin set a motions hearing for April 14, at which time the defense is expected to argue that an investigator’s confirmation bias tainted Dean’s right to a fair trial. The defense has filed a motion for a “taint hearing” but arguments have not yet been made in court.
Though AS’ lawsuit was referenced Tuesday, the particulars were not discussed. The complaint covers details of the alleged assault that have not yet been discussed in court.
Specifically, AS’ complaint claims that when being treated by Dean in 2017, the doctor made inappropriate sexual advances and lewd comments, and eventually digitally penetrated her and forced her to touch his genitalia.
According to court records, Dean currently faces 13 counts: two counts of rape, two counts of forcible sodomy, two counts of aggravated sexual battery, two counts of sexual battery, four counts of object sexual penetration and one count of abduction.
Trials for the other three criminal cases and the lawsuit have not yet been scheduled.