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April 20, 2021 01:22pm
By Aislinn Antrim, Associate Editor
Two criminal cases against Mark E. Wisner, charged with sexual abuse of patients at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth, are pending.
During a recent hearing, Judge Gunnar Sundby agreed to consolidate a pair of criminal cases against a former physician’s assistant accused of sexually abusing patients at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in Leavenworth, KS, according toLeavenworth Times.
Mark E. Wisner is charged with 1 felony count of sexual battery, 1 felony count of aggravated criminal sodomy, and 3 misdemeanors of sexual battery, for crimes alleged to have taken place between 2012 and 2014, the report noted. Initially, the charges were filed in separate cases before Assistant County Attorney Michael Jones filed a motion to consolidate the cases, arguing that all the charges involved allegations of sexual assault while Wisner was working at the VA hospital, theTimesreported.
Additional allegations also surfaced, involving high school athletes in Wisner’s hometown of Horton, according toFox4KC. Following the initial investigation and coverage byFox4, a former Horton High School football and basketball player came forward and stated that many of the allegations by veterans were similar to incidences that happened in the late 1990s.
The man, who asked to be unidentified, said that some athletes at the school would compare notes and joke about visits or physicals with Wisner.
“I’d go in there, be like, ‘hey my knee’s still botherin’ me, can you take a look at it?’ he toldFox4kc. “He’d be like ‘okay, drop your pants, let’s check there first …”
The man noted that he found these visits odd, but after learning that it was happening to the other students too, they would joke around about it.
“It was just something us kids, we’d razz each other about it,” he toldFox4kc.
The former student expressed his empathy for the veterans who were harmed, and wished he and his other fellow athletes had spoken up nearly 2 decades ago to prevent others from suffering the same treatment, reportedFox4kc.
Originally, 1 of the criminal cases was scheduled for trial on Halloween, but Wisner’s court-appointed attorney, John Bryant, requested a continuance of the trial date because he was having issues locating a potential expert witness, according to theTimes. Furthermore, he indicated that he still needs to obtain records from the VA hospital.
Wisner’s attorney has asked that the aggravated criminal sodomy charge be severed into a third case.
The request by Bryant for a pretrial conference before a new trial date was granted and has been scheduled for November 4, 2016.