FORT MYERS, FL — A Fort Myers gastroenterologist who was arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a patient in the middle of a colonoscopy has faced similar allegations in the past, according to a new investigative report.
Dr. Asif Choudhury, 54, is accused of a felony count of sexual battery for allegedly inserting his fingers into a woman’s vagina twice while performing the procedure at HeathPark Medical Center in Fort Myers.
Lee County deputies said Choudhury was arrested on Friday after a nurse reported the alleged assault to her supervisors. The nurse reported that the doctor would make a “pumping” motion with his hand while his fingers were inside the patient. Though the incident occurred in May, it was not reported to authorities until November.
He was released on Saturday on a $150,000 bond.
Choudhury has had privileges at Lee Memorial Hospital and Lehigh Regional Medical Center and has also been on staff at Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center and Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center.
In a 32-page arrest warrant, Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators said they spoke in June to current and former medical staffers at the Riverwalk Endoscopy & Surgery Center in Fort Myers, who claimed to have witnessed multiple similar assaults on patients. One unidentified male medical worker told a detective that he had seen Choudhury insert his finger into vaginas between 10 and 15 times.
Choudury has denied the allegations against him, and insisted that his actions were misinterpreted. Choudhury explained, “based on his proximity to the vagina, there is a high chance a witness could misunderstand his actions if they are not familiar with his technique.”
According to Choudhury’s attorney, the doctor’s wife supports her husband.
Lee Health released the following statement Friday:
“Dr. Choudhury is not practicing at any Lee Health facility. This is an active criminal case so we cannot comment further at this time.
The safety and well-being of our patients is our highest priority. When an allegation of any type of misconduct is made, our policy is to promptly respond, report the matter to the appropriate authorities and fully cooperate with law enforcement. The alleged incident was reported because an employee spoke up. We thank our staff for their efforts to protect our patients.”
The doctor’s arraignment is scheduled for February 5.
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Main photo: Dr. Asif Choudury [Lee County Sheriff’s Office]