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Dr. Michael Benjamin suspended for not reporting the pregnancy of a 12 year-old


Dr. Michael Benjamin told state officials he believed the girl’s story that she got pregnant from consensual sex with a classmate who lived nearby. He said he didn’t think he needed to report it.

The unidentified girl came to Benjamin for an abortion in November 2009 with her mother and the adult boyfriend, according to the state complaint against him. They lived in the Gainesville area and found Benjamin’s name through an abortion hotline.

The girl’s mother insisted she did not know of her daughter’s condition until the girl was 24 weeks pregnant and had not taken her for prenatal care, state records show.

Benjamin told state investigators he was satisfied that there was no child abuse after talking to the girl and her mother for 30 minutes. But the state complaint notes that Benjamin’s notes in the case state he only talked to the girl and her mother for six to eight minutes before the abortion.

The girl’s pregnancy was not reported until months later by her pediatrician. Gainesville area detectives later linked the pregnancy to the mother’s boyfriend. Authorities later convicted the boyfriend of the girl’s mother in the pre-teen’s pregnancy and he is now servicing a 15-year sentence for sexual battery.

Note: Statutory Rape Law:
Statutory rape is the crime of having sexual relations with a person younger than the age of consent specified by statue, or who is mentally incapable of consent as defined by law. Often, the offender must be several years older than the victim, rather than the same age or younger. The perpetrator’s claim of ignorance of the victim’s age is generally not regarded as sufficient reason to spare him from prosecution. Laws vary by state. In Florida, the age of consent is usually 18, but can be one or two years younger if the partners are close to each other in age.

Benjamin and state officials had proposed that the case could be settled if he paid an $8,000 fine, accepted a reprimand and take remedial courses, according to the docket in his case. However, the Florida Board of Medicine, which oversees doctors, rejected the deal. The Board voted to suspend Benjamin’s license until he undergoes an assessment and come back before the board for another review.

Benjamin will also be fined $10,000 and will have to perform community service as well as take courses.

Michael Spicer, attorney for Benjamin said the doctor will contest the ruling by taking the case to a state administrative judge, allowing him to keep practicing while the case is pending.

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October 9, 2011 - Posted by | Business News | , , , , ,

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