ROOK: Facing criminal charges, but licence reinstated.
The Arkansas Medical Board
today reinstated the medical license of Dr. Robert Rook
, a Conway doctor charged
with rape and sexual assault of patients, KATV reports
The board had previously voted, 9-3, to suspend Rook's license in June after he was arrested
for three counts each of rape and sexual assault of patients. The investigation into Rook by Conway police began in October. Three women have made allegations against Rook about inappropriate contact, but the charges are based on two accounts. The incidents are alleged to have happened during physicals and pelvic exams.
Rook, a well-established physician in Conway who has been an active political player, attempted to get a temporary restraining order to prevent the suspension in June, but Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen denied his request
No witnesses testified at the Board's meeting today. The AP reports
that because none of the three alleged victims testified today, the Board's attorney advised that reliance on the criminal affidavits instead could amount to hearsay evidence.
As part of its decision, the Board mandated that Rook have a witness with him when he is with patients and that he turn in a log of all exams to the Board.
Rook, currently out on a $225,000 bond, still faces criminal charges in the ongoing investigation. He pleaded not guilty in July.
One member of the Arkansas legislature, Rep. John Baine
, an El Dorado Democrat, expressed his displeasure today at the Board's decision, calling it "indefensible":