September 15, 2014

Elyria
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More allegations made against doctor

ELYRIA — Several more people have come forward alleging sexual misconduct by Dr. Somnath Roy, who already is being sued by two women with similar complaints.
 “There is an investigation, it has expanded and we’re going to continue to work on it,” Elyria police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said.
Roy has denied any wrongdoing. Attorney Jim Walther, who represents a former employee of Roy’s, said he has directed four people who have contacted him about Roy to call Elyria police.
Walther said he’s not surprised that there may be other victims.
“There was no doubt in my mind once I heard the story that there was going to be others,” Walther said.
Roy’s attorney, Kenneth Lieux, said people are looking to make money by suing a vulnerable doctor.
“This is people coming out of the woodwork, which happens when people see litigation and dollar signs,” he said. “The allegations are preposterous.”
Walther said two of the people who contacted him were women who said Roy touched their breasts, a similar story to what his client told him about the two days she worked in Roy’s office.
A couple told Walther that Roy had asked them explicit questions about their sex life that had nothing to do with the reason they were seeing him. The fourth person to contact Walther was a 47-year-old Elyria man who said Roy rubbed his genitals on his knee and thigh during examinations about six times over the course of the eight years he was Roy’s patient.
The 47-year-old man said he didn’t plan to do anything about it until he finally got a new doctor earlier this year who told him that Roy was being sued for sexual harassment.
“It’s unnerving and you feel uneasy about it,” the man said.
The man also said he had contacted the State Medical Board of Ohio to report the incident, something Walther and Steve Meckler, who represents the other woman suing Roy, said they’ve told their clients to do as well.
The board’s Web site lists no disciplinary actions pending against Roy, who was first licensed in Ohio in 1999, but board spokeswoman Joan Wehrle said until the board takes action, any complaint against a doctor is confidential.
But she said the board will conduct an investigation on any complaints it receives and take action if there is enough evidence. Roy could face punishment that could include losing his license to practice medicine if an allegation of sexual misconduct is proven, Wehrle said.
“The board has a history of taking sexual impropriety allegations very seriously,” she said.
Meckler said he has received one other complaint since filing his lawsuit on behalf of a woman who interviewed for a job with Roy during which he allegedly insisted on examining her breasts.
Meckler said people are sometimes reluctant to come forward with sexual allegations against a doctor, but once someone else does, they often decide to tell their story.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.