Military officials recently charged an Army doctor assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, with alleged sexual abuse following an investigation.
Maj. Michael Stockin, an anesthesiologist at JBLM’s Madigan Army Medical Center, is facing accusations of “abusive sexual contact and indecent viewing,” Army Lt. Col. Jennifer J. Bocanegra, a spokeswoman for I Corps, told Military Times in a statement. She added that Stockin was suspended from seeing patients on Feb. 22, 2022, “when the first reports were received.”
The charges brought Tuesday against Stockin followed an investigation that spanned more than a year, The Washington Post first reported. The Post noted that the case may involve at least 23 alleged victims.
The number of cases of alleged sexual assault in the military remains to be a concern for the Pentagon, which in April revealed data showing a rise in reported cases.
“These allegations bear striking similarities to those committed by Larry Nassar. Both were committed in closed systems where individuals in positions of power are rarely questioned or held accountable for their crimes,” Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group looking to end rape and sexual assault in the military, said in a statement.
Ryan Guilds, an attorney representing those who say they were abused by the doctor, told Military Times in a statement that the court-martial process in this case is in the early stages.
“There are more questions than answers, including the scope and scale of the alleged crimes and what military and hospital leaders knew and could have done to prevent this,” Guilds told Military Times in an email.
Robert Capovilla, Stockin’s attorney, said the government and defense teams are in the process of scheduling a preliminary hearing for the case.
“Our sincere hope is that the Army prioritizes Major Stockin’s privacy and his Constitutional right to a fair trial moving forward,” Capovilla said in a statement to Military Times.
“That being said, the Army cannot forget that Major Stockin is cloaked in the presumption of innocence and my sincere hope is that the Army does everything in its power to ensure a fair process for Major Stockin and not just the alleged victims.”
Stockin has been assigned to Lewis-McChord since July 2019, according to Bocanegra. It is unclear at this time how many of the alleged incidents may have occurred there.
The Army major has served as an anesthesiologist in the Army since May 2013, Bocanegra said, adding that the doctor deployed to Iraq from October 2020 to February 2021. Before arriving at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, he previously served at Tripler Army Medical Center Honolulu, Hawaii, from June 2013 to July 2014 and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, from July 2014 to July 2019, Bocanegra said.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media