Dr. Edwin Harvey Hamilton, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for sexual battery last Wednesday. Surprisingly, the alleged victim is a patient of Dr. Hamilton who claims that the sexual battery occurred during a visit to his general practice office. According to the alleged victim, Dr. Hamilton inappropriately touched her breasts and sex organs without her consent.
In a bizarre twist of facts, the patient’s sister was able to make an audio recording of the struggle between Dr. Hamilton and the patient after the patient’s cell phone mysteriously redialed the last called number – which just to happened to be her sister’s number. According to police, the audio recording has been entered into evidence.
After spending a night in jail, Dr. Hamilton was released on a $5,000.00 bond.
This case has “set-up” written all over it… at the very least, it begs a much deeper investigation by criminal defense lawyers.
First of all, I would want to know more about the circumstances that led to the alleged sexual battery. In other words, was the alleged touching of a sexual nature or was it done as part of the medical examination Dr. Hamilton was performing?
Why was the patient there to see the doctor in the first place? Was it a routine examination or one because she was ill or had some other medical problem? Specifically, was palpitation of the breasts and an inspection of the genitals medically warranted or appropriate?
To what extent were the patient’s breasts and genitals touched? Did the touching last a few seconds or did it go on for an inappropriate amount of time?
Did Dr. Hamilton fondle her breasts or did he palpitate them like a doctor normally would during a breast examination? When Dr. Hamilton allegedly touched her genitals did he do it in a fashion that was consistent with a vaginal examination or did he do it with lewdness?
Second, I would like to hear more about the background and past relationship between Dr. Hamilton and this woman. I personally find it incredibly odd that the patient’s phone “accidentally” dialed her sister and then the sister recorded the conversation.
More information is needed here. Criminal defense lawyers representing Dr. Hamilton will need to thoroughly examine the witness testimony provided in this case.
If however, the phone did in fact “pocket dial” the sister and the recording was captured when the sister’s voice-mail kicked in, then the circumstances of the recording would seem less suspicious.
However, if the sister recorded the conversation upon receiving the phone call, there are some serious credibility questions that need answering.
After all, who does that? How many times have you received a “pocket call” from someone? Have YOU ever recorded the calls? Even if you wanted to, its pretty suspect when you just happen to have a handy recording device nearby.
In the alternative, it is possible that the phone did in fact pocket call the sister and upon hearing a struggle or argument, the sister may have grabbed someone else’s iPhone or other smart phone (which are equipped with easily accessible audio recording apps) to make a recording.
I am not saying its impossible or absolutely false, all I am saying is that it is EXTREMELY suspect and begs further investigation by Dr. Hamilton’s criminal defense lawyers.
What if Dr. Hamilton and this patient had a consensual romantic or sexual relationship that turned sour? Was this woman seeking revenge? Was she trying to make a case against a wealthy, prominent doctor that she knew would rather settle out of court and pay her substantial financial compensation rather than face the consequences and humiliation of a criminal prosecution or a civil lawsuit?
This case is odd to me because 1) it happened in a doctor’s office during an office visit, and 2) the sister’s recording seems so improbable that it is inherently suspect.
Based on the facts presented in the media, which are distastefully inadequate, it is clear this case has serious holes and major credibility issues. In the end, these holes and credibility issues may be resolved. For instance, it would be very interesting to hear what was actually recorded by the sister. It would be interesting to hear the actual recording to determine not only what was said by each person, but in also what context.
If this woman truly is a genuine victim of sexual battery then she deserves justice and Dr. Hamilton deserves to be punished. However, as a criminal defense lawyer, my role is to question the evidence to make sure that it really does prove the allegations being made.
In the criminal justice system, nothing can be taken for granted. Convictions and prison sentences can only be had when there is sufficient admissible evidence to prove the allegations.
In the end, I hope justice prevails for both parties in this case… whatever the truth may be.