Were you or a loved one sexually assaulted by Dr. Matthew Johnson, an acupuncturist working out of One Yoga and Fitness in Clermont, Florida? Our experienced personal injury attorneys are here to help.
Related Case: https://abuseguardian.com/dr-johnnie-jack-barto/
Sexual assault can raise a painful and powerful storm of emotions. Anger, shock, disbelief, grief, shame, and embarrassment – these are normal reactions to a horrific violation. Just know that this was not your fault. You are not to blame. You did nothing wrong. If you or a loved one were abused by Dr. Johnson, you may have powerful legal options. Some sexual assault survivors may be eligible to pursue justice and financial compensation by filing a sexual assault lawsuit in civil court. We can help.
Law enforcement authorities in Clermont, Florida arrested Dr. Matthew Johnson, 48, on Tuesday, October 30, 2018, charging the acupuncturist for the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl, according to WFTV. Police say Dr. Johnson molested the girl during an acupuncture session at One Yoga and Fitness at 1214 Bowman Street in the Sunnyside Plaza.
According to police, the alleged victim had been one of Johnson’s clients for several weeks before the acupuncturist assaulted her. In an echo of the Larry Nassar scandal, authorities say Johnson assaulted the girl under the guise of a medical procedure, but police say he violated her with both his hands and his mouth.
“This was the first time he had violated her,” a Clermont police press release asserts.
Johnson was arrested at his home in Groveland on Tuesday and charged with sexual battery. He is currently being held in the Lake County Jail. Johnson has been licensed as an acupuncturist since 2011, according to a search of Florida Department of Health records performed by the Orlando Sentinel. There are no previous citations against him.
“There’s an inherent trust between doctors and patients,” according to Sergeant Shane Strickland of the Clermont Police Department. “You don’t go into a doctor’s office expecting to be victimized.” Cases of doctor and hospital sexual assault have been rising in recent years.
Police say the victims was curled up on a bathroom floor crying in the fetal position at her home when they received word to investigate the allegations. According to an affidavit of probable cause, she told the authorities that Johnson had in the past made comments about how “pretty” she is and compared her to his ex-girlfriend.
“At one point,” says Sergeant Strickland, “there was a controlled phone call that took place between the victim and the doctor with our investigators managing everything. She asked him then, ‘why did you do this to me?’ and he said it was a medical procedure and wouldn’t answer anything else on the phone, as he put it, for liability reasons.”
Strickland believes “it’s very likely there are other victims out there.”
Interviewed by WFTV, the owner of One Yoga and Fitness, Gina Keefe, said she is “blindsided and devastated” by the allegations of sexual misconduct, noting that she had “rented space” to Johnson, rather than employing the man. She says she has changed the locks on the facility’s doors to prevent Johnson from coming back and notes that Johnson passed a background check and there were never any complaints about him until now.
Thankfully, Johnson’s victim chose to report her allegations to the appropriate authorities in a timely manner. Sexual assault is severely under-reported, and many abusers evade justice.
Clermont police are urging members of the community to come forward if they feel as though they were also victimized by Matthew Johnson. Anyone with information in the case has been instructed to contact Detective Melissa France at 352-536-8421.