Former Veterans Affairs physician assistant convicted of sodomizing veterans

According to attorneys in contact with KCTV5 News, more than 50 veterans claim Mark Wisner abused them while they were under his care. (Leavenworth County Jail)

LEAVENWORTH — A former physician assistant charged with physically abusing patients at a Kansas veterans hospital told law enforcement investigators that he failed to control urges and molested veterans entrusted to his care.

Leavenworth County prosecutors played for the jury Tuesday a recording of the interview with Mark Wisner, a Horton resident charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors related to sexual battery and criminal sodomy. The offenses allegedly occurred from 2012 to 2014 while Wisner was employed at Eisenhower Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leavenworth.

“I don’t have any business in medicine. Period,” Wisner told investigators during the taped interview prior to being charged. He also said: “I never received any sexual gratification.”

The investigators questioned Wisner during the 2015 interview about targeting young or muscular VA patients, taking steps to convince them to return for regular treatment at the hospital and attempting to cover his tracks by maintaining false medical records.

They also asserted Wisner hadn’t come to grips with the gravity of his misconduct and the toll inflicted on patients, including combat veterans, who had walked into the VA hospital expecting to receive help with physical and mental challenges.

“All I can say is, I truly messed up. I’m totally, completely — no control,” Wisner told investigators on the recording. “I don’t feel good about myself. I don’t feel good about what happened to these patients.”

In the recording, Wisner made references to being abused by a grandfather when he was a teenager.

It’s not clear whether defense attorney John Bryant intends to call Wisner to testify after the prosecution rests, most likely Wednesday. Bryant objected to playing the recording for the jury, but the trial judge ruled the one-hour tape admissible.

Four former patients of Wisner testified Monday or Tuesday as prosecution witnesses about being subjected to unorthodox and embarrassing treatments by the VA physician assistant.

Under questioning by Assistant County Attorney Michael Jones, the men described scenes in which Wisner examined their testicles multiple times each year, rubbed their penis with his hands or initiated an exam resulting in forceful anal penetration. The witnesses said, based on their personal experience, Wisner’s techniques didn’t correlate to standard medical protocol and took advantage of trust placed in health professionals.

In addition, witnesses said Wisner made sexually suggestive comments about their anatomy and brought up the subject of homosexuality without appropriate context.

Wisner was placed on leave from the Leavenworth hospital after a VA agent launched an inquiry based on two complaints. Wisner surrendered his Kansas medical license in 2015. Last year, Leavenworth County prosecutors charged him with one felony count each of aggravated sexual battery and aggravated criminal sodomy along with three misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.

A contingent of former VA patients who received care from Wisner filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court. Some plaintiffs have sought $3 million in damages.

Credit: By Tim Carpenter

Copyright Topeka Capital Journal Aug 30, 2017


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