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Complaint Claims Texas Psychiatrist Molested Prisoner Patients

A complaint has been filed in the 87th Judicial District Court of Anderson County, Texas, alleging that John W. Goodman, M.D., a former prison psychiatrist at the Gurney Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), sexually assaulted many of his prisoner patients. The complaint, filed by eleven prisoners who were Goodman's patients, alleges that Goodman breached his professional duty of care to the prisoners while performing professional services at the Gurney Transfer Unit.

According to Charles E. Pool, Sr., one of the plaintiffs, Goodman, who is an employee of the University of Texas System University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), touched and manipulated the genitalia of prisoners who sought treatment from him. UTMB is the health care provider for TDCJ. Prisoners complained of Goodman's actions and, on May 4, 1998, Dr. Tom Brittain, a UTMB prison psychiatrist at the TDCJ Beto Unit, wrote Dr. Suzanne Ducate, Director of Mental Health Services for UTMB, and Mr. Billy Burleson, Northern Regional Psychology Director, expressing his concern about Goodman's conduct in touching the genitals of patients while performing psychiatric medical services. Despite these warnings of Goodman's misconduct, no action was taken to determine whether the allegations were true or to prevent Goodman from molesting additional prisoners.

Entering an examining room on July 2, 1998, Ms. Qinley, a UTMB employee working in the Psychiatric Department at the Gurney Unit, discovered Goodman touching and manipulating the genitalia of prisoner Carlton Lee Jenkins. She reported the incident and steps were finally taken to prevent further molestations.

On March 3, 1999, Pool, who had been transferred to the Luther Unit, was contacted by an employee of the TDCJ Internal Affairs Division. Pool was told that Goodman had been fined and that Pool was being faxed some papers which he need to sign. The papers turned out to be an agreement for Pool to withdraw his complaint against Goodman. Pool refused to sign.

After he refused to sign, the basis of Pool's complaint against Goodman suddenly became common knowledge among the guards at the Luther Unit. Pool was harassed by guards. When he complained of posttraumatic stress to the unit psychologist, Pool was told that the sexual assault was just a part of his punishment.

Dallas attorney Robert Hinton became involved in the case and filed a complaint for the plaintiffs on April 19, 2000. The complaint was based, in part, on a TDCJ Internal Affairs report, which Mr. Hinton received on April 23, 1999. The FBI has also investigated the charges against Goodman at the behest of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. However, to date no formal criminal charges have been brought against Goodman. The TDCJ Internal Affairs investigation ended with Goodman being fined. Apparently that is all you get for serial sexual assault of Texas prisoners. Who says Texas is so tough on crime? In Texasif you're part of the systemif you do the crime, you just pay the fine.

Sources: Complaint in Jenkins v. Texas , Cause No. 9214 (87th Dist. Court, Anderson Co., Texas); Charles E. Pool.

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Related legal case

Jenkins v. Texas