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Police: Doctor secretly recorded talking about sexual assault of patient

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

May 20. 2018 10:29PM
Dr. Hugh MacDonald appeared in court Friday on charges he sexually assaulted a female patient. (Jason Schreiber/Correspondent)



BRENTWOOD — A Newmarket doctor accused of sexually assaulting a female patient was secretly recorded talking about his alleged sexual encounters with the woman and was arrested after police moved in when they suspected he was assaulting her again while they were listening in during her medical appointment, according to a police affidavit.

New details in the case against Dr. Hugh MacDonald emerged Friday when he appeared in Rockingham County Superior Court and an affidavit was filed outlining the allegations.

MacDonald, 57, of Newfields, was arrested on May 11 at his office at Great Bay Family Practice, a Newmarket medical facility that is part of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover.

A hospital spokesman said he has been suspended.

MacDonald is charged with eight counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault and two counts of sexual assault. All of the charges allege that he assaulted the woman while providing medical treatment or examination.

He waived his arraignment Friday and entered not guilty pleas.

In the seven-page affidavit, Newmarket police Detective Scott Kukesh detailed the investigation and an interview on April 19 with the alleged 45-year-old woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted on three different occasions.

According to the affidavit, the woman’s psychotherapist reported that she suffers from multiple mental disorders and is “almost child-like.”

Kukesh wrote that on three separate occasions MacDonald had invited her to his office after hours and that the assaults allegedly occurred in March and April.

The alleged victim told police that she was afraid to make him upset, the affidavit said.

She also claimed MacDonald told her “not to tell anybody at all” and to “keep it a secret.” She stated that he told her “nurses wouldn’t like it if they found out,” the affidavit said.

During the investigation, police received authorization from the state Attorney General’s office to audio record one of the woman’s appointments on May 11 through a one-party intercept.

According to the affidavit, MacDonald could be heard entering the room and asking how the woman was doing.

At one point during their conversation, MacDonald was allegedly heard whispering to the woman, “I want to be your doctor and I want to be your friend, but I don’t know if we should do what we did,” the affidavit said.

“You mean like coming at night?” she asked.

“Yeah,” MacDonald said, according to the affidavit.

The woman then mentioned sexual acts that she claims MacDonald had performed with her previously and told him that she liked it and had been waiting for him to call again.

The affidavit said MacDonald asked the woman, “So, we can do that, but it’s gonna be, it’s just so busy right now. We’re coming up to the end of the fiscal year so it’s been crazy busy.”

The affidavit said he also stated, “So we can do it again though. You want to, right?”

Before the appointment, the alleged victim and police agreed on a so-called “safe phrase” that she would use if she felt she was being touched for sexual gratification or other non-medical reasons.

At one point the woman said the safe phrase, prompting police to enter the exam room and arrest MacDonald.

In addition to the charges from the earlier alleged assaults, MacDonald was also charged with two counts of sexual assault for allegedly touching her breasts and buttocks during the May 11 appointment.

At a hearing Friday, Judge Marguerite Wageling ordered that MacDonald be evaluated for supervised release through the county’s pretrial release program and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.

MacDonald, who is free on $100,000 bail, was also ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim and must stay away from the medical office and all Wentworth-Douglass facilities. He is also not allowed to practice medicine without approval of the New Hampshire Medical Board.


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