Barry King, a gynecologist who was charged with a misdemeanor count of harassment after dyeing a patient’s vagina purple, will have his conviction dropped if he goes two years without doing it again, reports the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
The charge stems from a 2017 incident involving a woman who at the time worked for King. The woman is a breast cancer survivor who had had a double mastectomy and had just found a vaginal lesion; worried that her cancer was back and then between doctors, she asked King if he would give her an exam.
King said yes, and at the end of the exam, told the victim to ask her husband to look at her vagina when she went home. Later that day, she noticed purple dye on her toilet paper after going to the bathroom. The next day, she went to work and describes King as acting “really giddy” and “odd.”
King later admitted that he dyed the patient’s vagina. The Daily Sentinel reports:
“He said, ‘... It was a joke,’” the woman told [Mesa County Judge Michael] Grattan. “It was a joke for (my husband).”
There are so many horrifying details here, including the fact that the woman found out King told her coworkers about it, and that police charged him with harassment instead of sexual assault because “prosecutors told her they didn’t think they could prove sexual intent.” In the victim’s words:
“That’s why we’re here with the class three misdemeanor,” the victim told Grattan. “Because I cannot attest to the status of his penis.”
The incident is infuriating not just because how needlessly cruel it was (the victim describes it as feeling like “hazing”), but because of the level of composure King’s former employee brought to the situation, knowing that her chances for justice were slim. On Friday, she said in court:
“I didn’t want to ruin his life,” she said. “I was just going to get another job and leave, like most victims do.”
King pleaded guilty to the harassment charge and will have his conviction dropped in two years if he can manage not to harass anyone else in that time period. I believe Mesa County Judge Michael Grattan said it best when he accepted the sentencing:
[...] it was clear his lawyer had worked out “an amazing deal” that will allow him to move forward while not requiring the victim to go through the embarrassment of trial.
“But, oh my God,” Grattan said.
King must also apologize to his victim and do 100 hours of public service.
As of Friday, he had not yet apologized. He is currently practicing on a military base in Louisiana.