Sentencing for doctor charged with sexually abusing patients receives negative reactions

CLAYTON, MO – Negative reaction to a judge’s sentence in the case of a doctor charged with sexually abusing female patients in his office.  People said the punishment was too lenient.

Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said there are a total of 21 victims, and he didn’t think the time fit the crimes.

McCulloch said prosecutors asked Judge Gloria Reno for 3 years in prison for Dr. Howard Setzer.  McCulloch was disappointed Setzer only received two months of shock time.  Setzer served 30 days shock time in St. Charles County for similar crimes and received 5 years’ probation in both counties.

Phyllis Miller counsels’ women at the YWCA who have been sexually assaulted.  She said the YWCA helps 700 sex crime victims every year.  Miller said when criminals receive what victims consider light sentences it sends their recovery backward.  Miller said, “They hear these things they begin to have nightmares again different things it’s like a setback in their progress of healing.”

John Rogers, the attorney for Dr. Setzer, said it’s safe to assume the doctor’s medical license will be revoked.  He said Setzer continues his therapy for his compulsion and that in similar cases across Missouri half the time individuals like Setzer are granted probation.

Phillis Miller wants judges to give more consideration to how sexual attacks affect victims.  The attacks can impact victims for the rest of their lives.  Miller added, “How it’s been a stumbling block in their life, how it’s kept them from getting jobs, how it has kept them from being emotionally healthy.”

It looks like the doctor will be back in court soon, some of the victims are suing him in civil court.

The attorney for the doctor presented testimony that he said shows Setzer does not have a tendency toward sexual violence.