Doctor pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges

Court dates set for former emergency room physician

PORT ANGELES — A doctor accused of sexually assaulting three women while working in the emergency department of Olympic Medical Center entered a plea of not guilty Friday to the charges against him.

Dr. Josiah Hill, 39, of Sequim, was arrested on July 14 by the Port Angeles Police Department on three counts of indecent liberties by a health care provider and one count of second-degree rape of a vulnerable victim.

On Friday, the Clallam County Superior Court set a preliminary court date of Monday, Oct. 10, for Hill, an emergency physician who allegedly sexually assaulted three women under the pretense of a medical examination while working at OMC.

Superior Court Judge Brent Basden scheduled a status conference for Hill on Sept. 15, and modified the conditions of his release to include GPS monitoring and limited travel to Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, Mason, Thurston, Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

Michele Devlin, chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney in Clallam County, asked the court Friday to restrict Hill to electronic home monitoring with the exception of weekly visits to places such as church, the store, medical appointments or other official business, saying that although Hill was no longer practicing medicine, the charges against him were predatory in nature.

But Hill’s attorney Karen Unger countered that her client has fully cooperated with authorities, and has not fled despite charges initially being raised against him in April. Hill surrendered himself to police and was released on $200,000 bail and ordered to surrender his passport.

“It’s a little frustrating to be playing defense,” Unger told the court. “The fact that he hasn’t gone anywhere yet is an indication of willingness to work with the court.”

Basden agreed with Unger that Hill has not been convicted of a crime and enjoyed a presumption of innocence but limited Hill’s movements to a few counties rather than the entire state of Washington as requested by the defense.

In addition to the monitoring and travel restrictions, protective orders for Hill’s alleged victims were renewed by the court.

Three women have accused Hill of making inappropriate comments and sexually assaulting them, but during Friday’s arraignment, Devlin said the investigation was ongoing and the state was considering bringing additional charges regarding four additional women.

Hill was previously an employee of Peninsula Emergency Services, Inc., (PESI) and was put on administrative leave at the request of OMC following the first allegation against Hill on April 16. On June 30, OMC chose not to renew its contract with PESI, ending a decades-long relationship between the two entities.

On July 26, the state Department of Health announced Hill’s medical license was being suspended pending further legal action, meaning Hill cannot practice medicine in the state until the charges are resolved.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at psegall@soundpublishing.com.

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