OKEECHOBEE — A local doctor is accused of assaulting a woman in his private office earlier this year.
The woman, who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, said she visited Dr. Saeed Khan’s office in February and when she arrived at 4 p.m., he told his office staff they could wrap up and leave early. She said she thought that was odd, but wasn’t worried. She said later, as she was trying to leave, he stopped her from leaving, then he pulled her shirt and bra down to expose her breasts and touched them with his hands and his mouth. She said she believes there are probably other victims out there and hopes coming forward with her story will give them the courage to come forward as well.
A complaint has been mailed to the Florida Board of Medicine in Tallahassee. “I feel that this doctor should not be privileged to practice medicine. He has broken his oath,” said the alleged victim.
Saeed Khan, 63, Jupiter, was arrested Friday, June 19, by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Devon Satallante and charged with misdemeanor battery touch or strike. His bond was set at $750. A no contact order was also issued. Arraignment is scheduled for July 13 in the courtroom of Judge Bill Wallace.
Dr. Khan has been an internist in practice in Okeechobee for over 20 years.
Although he could not discuss specifics of the case, Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright said an adult touching the breast of another adult would not constitute sexual assault in the State of Florida, even if he touched it with his mouth. He explained the charge of sexual battery would only be used if it involved sexual organs, not breasts, or if it involved a minor or a person with a mental disability.
Attorney Arick Fudali, managing attorney of the Bloom Firm, said: “We are encouraged that law enforcement has decided to move forward with criminal charges. We look forward to fighting for our client to achieve the justice she deserves. We urge any witnesses or other accusers to reach out to us.
The newspaper contacted Dr. Khan for comment, and was referred to his attorney, Edward Reagen. Mr. Reagen said Dr. Khan has been practicing in Okeechobee for more than 21 years and has a very large practice.
“I think he has more than 5,000 patients; 25% of those patients are treated at a reduced or free rate. He is beloved.”
He went on to say that although Dr. Khan has been accused of touching the woman against her will, the encounter was in fact consensual and no force was used. In addition, he said the woman was not Dr. Khan’s patient at the time and had not been his patient for some time. He alleges that she was not there to see him for medical reasons but for personal reasons and claimed the office staff never left the building. “We look forward to having this heard in court and to having him vindicated of these charges,” said Mr. Reagan.