- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The number of lawsuits accusing a former physician assistant at a Veteran’s Administration hospital in Kansas of sexual abuse has grown to at least five.

Josh Hutchison, 38, who lives in the Kansas City area, alleges in a federal lawsuit filed this week that Mark Wisner conducted unnecessary and improper genital examinations at the Leavenworth VA Medical Center. The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted, but Hutchison said he wanted his name used because he believes it will help other soldiers.

“A lot of these guys don’t want to come forward because they feel embarrassed and emasculated,” Hutchison told the AP on Friday. “By somebody taking a lead and stepping forward, I feel like it will help a lot of other soldiers.”

The hospital, which is accused of failing to properly supervise Wisner, said in a written statement that it has barred Wisner from seeing patients and that it started investigating after learning of the allegations.

Wisner also faces criminal charges of aggravated criminal sodomy, solicitation and sexual battery in Leavenworth County. Wisner surrendered his medical license last year after at least seven patients accused him of abuse, and medical regulators said at the time that others could come forward.

Debra Snider, his criminal defense attorney, said she couldn’t comment because she’s not representing him in the civil cases, and no attorney is listed for him in online court records for Hutchison’s lawsuit. Wisner didn’t return a phone message left at his Holton home.

In a consent order last year with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, Wisner agreed he violated the law by having inappropriate sexual contact with some patients, as well as making inappropriate sexual comments and overprescribing. The redacted order does not detail which drugs or treatment he overprescribed.

Hutchison served in Pakistan and Afghanistan before leaving the Army in 2013. He said he and some of the other plaintiffs have post-traumatic stress syndrome.

“We were even more susceptible to this, because he presented himself as someone who was helping,” Hutchison said, adding that following orders, particularly from medical professionals, is part of military life. “There is a lot of trust and respect given, obviously misguided as it was. Now I feel completely taken advantage of.”

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