CHARLESTON — Charleston physician Steven Matulis has been sentenced to prison for one count of sexual abuse.
Matulis was sentenced to 1 to 5 years for first-degree sexual abuse. In October, a jury convicted him on the one count and acquitted him on two counts of sexual assault.
Along with jail time, Matulis must pay $10,000 in fines, register as a sex offender and he faces five years of supervised release.
Matulis was accused of inappropriately touching patients while they were under anesthesia for procedures. When the investigation began two years ago, his medical license was switched to inactive.
His trial last month lasted a week.
Matulis was initially charged with five counts of second-degree assault and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.
Several of the charges were dismissed prior to Matulis' trial by the circuit judge.
At his trial, more than 25 people testified against Matulis, including four victims.
There were several civil lawsuits filed against Matulis over the last two years, most also suing Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) and Charleston Gastroenterology Associates (CGA). The lawsuits each alleged that Matulis sexually abused or assaulted them.
The plaintiffs claimed they were alerted to news reports that Matulis was being investigated for touching a patient during a colonoscopy and that his privileges to practice medicine at CAMC had been suspended and then terminated as a result of the allegations. They claimed Matulis had been witnessed by CAMC staff to have been sexually assaulting female patients during colonoscopies.
The civil suits alleged that Matulis’ actions were a deviation from the applicable standards of care and were an invasion of privacy.
The suits also alleged that CAMC and CGA deviated from the standard of care.
Kanawha Circuit Judge Louis "Duke" Bloom sentenced Matulis.
Louis Bloom said at the sentencing that it was a difficult day for all involved and that it was a very serious matter.