CALIFORNIA—A doctor, working at UC Berkeley’s Health Services since past 20 years, is charged with 19 counts including those of sexual battery and sexual exploitation. He was allegedly having sex with a minimum of six of his male patients.
Robert Kevess, 52, of Oakland was reportedly using his position of being a doctor at the Tang Health Center at 2222 Bancroft Way, over the last five years, to fondle his male patients’ genitalia, penetrate them digitally, and have anal and oral sex with them, as per the indictment announced on Thursday by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office. At some instances, the patients were not aware of the assault being done because Kevass told them that it was a medical procedure, as per the indictment.
Teresa Drenick, a deputy district attorney said that it was very serious that the alleged perpetrator was a medical doctor who people placed extra trust on.
Robert Beles, Kevess’ attorney, said that his client was innocent. There was no coercion, even if he did have sexual relations with a few of his patients.
Bales said that everything that ever happened, was consensual. It might be a bad judgment professionally, to have consensual activity with patients, but it was consensual.
Kevess, was at the position of the medical director and doctor at the Berkeley Free Clinic, but he went on to resign from UC and has turned in his medical license, said Bales. Kevess is scheduled to appear in court at 2 pm in the day, where he is going to plead not guilty, said Bales.
Officials from UC Berkeley expressed great regret at the event and set up an exclusive phone line for people to report possible abuse.
They said that they were deeply shocked and saddened by the news that a former staff physician at the University Health Services, Robert Kevess, MD, was charged by the Alameda County district attorney because of engaging in illegal sexual contact with a few of his male patients, Brad Buchman, the medical director and Claudia Covello, the executive director of health services, said in a statement. If in case, the allegations are proven to be true, it would stand in stark opposition to every single thing we believe in and stand for as professionals who are dedicated to provide high quality care for the patients.
According to the indictment, Kevess allegedly used his position of a doctor to touch and/or have sex with his patients. At some instances, he would fondle with his patients pretending as if those actions were necessary for the medical procedure. In other cases, Kevess completed the treatment of the patient and then got involved in a sexual relationship with him, as per the charges.
Kevess had spent most of his growing years in New York City and got his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1984. He did his residency in Family Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital in 1988. According to a NYU Medical School alumni newsletter, he specialized in depression and anxiety, migraines, dermatology, men’s health, gay men’s health, and transgender health, and also hormonal treatment. Kevess also gave lectures in various UC Berkeley courses, in addition to working at the Health Center.
On his Facebook page, Kevess gave his own description as being an Iconoclastic, a free thinking person, the one who is goofy at times; kind, caring, and thoughtful; passionate to help others; concerned about the state of the world and where it heads; committed to his own spiritual and personal growth path.
Kevess is an enthusiastic and passionate photographer. His portfolio on RedBubble.com showcased vast collection of buildings and also included a number of images of naked men. He is also seen as a member of ‘The Male Nude’ group and ‘Bum Appreciation Group’ on the site.
His medical abilities were being praised by one of his former patients.
He said that Dr. Kevess was his doctor through UC Berkeley. He wrote a review on a doctor-rating site. He said that he had a lot many frustrating medical experiences in the last five years involving visual and neurological problems that no other doctor was really able to clearly diagnose. Dr. Kevess had been the only doctor to listen to his problems giving him ample time, the one he could explain all his concerns to, who took his worries seriously and made him feel like he genuinely cared about his health. He said that it was an unmatched feeling to have that after so many years of being ignored by so many other doctors. He treated his migraines successfully and always took out the time to check in with how he was doing. He said Kevess was a really kind and caring person who took the time to ask questions and would really listen to his answers! He added that he could not praise doctor Kevess enough. He said that Kevess thoughtfully answered all questions, never made anyone feel rushed or bothersome and treated patients like human beings rather than merely a number. He said he wished more doctors were like him.