white doctor martens Accused Macomb Township doctor faced similar charges in 1990s
Six women who accused physician Dr. Mark Sikorski of fondling them during appointments in the 1990s were upset 18 years ago when he was acquitted of all criminal charges.
We couldn t believe it was because there was that many of us, said Beth, 50, of Sterling Heights, who did not want her last name used. Why would we lie? Why would I lie?
I was angry, I was disappointed, said a second accuser, a 63 year old Macomb Township woman who did not want her name used. I thought, Son of a gun, what could I have done to make sure this man didn t get off?
For these two women, recent allegations that have surfaced two decades later have dredged up old feelings though the suspect s attorney cautions anyone against associating her client s exoneration then with the charges being levied today.
Sikorski, 58, a family physician in Macomb Township, is the subject of new, similar allegations he fondled two female patients in recent years. He is scheduled to face trial May 24 on a single count of fourth degree criminal sexual conduct in front of Judge Jennifer Faunce in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens.
At a initial trial in January, a jury couldn t reach a verdict on the charge, punishable by up to two years in prison. A mistrial due to a hung jury was declared Jan. 27 after three days of deliberations following a three day trial.
Sikorski s attorney, Deanna Kelley, said the counts from nearly 18 years ago shouldn t be considered by those assessing the current allegations and demonstrates the danger of false allegations.
The fact that he was found not guilty of those allegations, making people feel there is truth to these allegations, is a dangerous and wrong conclusion to make, Kelley said.
While Beth said she cannot know if Sikorski is guilty of the more recent allegations,
she pointed out some of the circumstances in the two cases are eerily similar, most notably the accusers all being vulnerable in some way.
Back then, he had intimate knowledge of their vulnerabilities through viewing their medical files. Several of the six accusers were being treated after dealing with sexual trauma.
Fast forward to today and the primary recent accuser was going to Sikorski for a suboxone prescription to address a drug addiction and testified he asked her about her appearance on a sex camera website. The secondary accuser allegedly had a secret she didn t want Sikorski to expose, according to testimony.
Beth said at the time of the alleged incident she had sexual abuse in her past and was taking an anti depressant. She recalls she went to Sikorski for strep throat because her primary physician, Dr. Gregory Henk, wasn t available. Sikorski told her he suspected she may have leukemia and wanted to check her lymph nodes. She stated he fondled her breasts as she lay on her back on an examination bed.
The second 1990s accuser reached by The Macomb Daily said Sikorski took advantage of her being legally blind, saying when she went to him for acid reflux, he groped her as also as she lay on her back on the exam bed.
I didn t let him get far, she said defiantly.
She added her daughter, a teen at the time, accompanied her into the exam room but Sikorski ordered her to leave so he could do what he could do. She said he called her daughter a b , and the girl left the room crying.
Both women said they never returned after he fondled them.
Beth said Sikorski tried to contact his 1990s accusers who ranged in age from 19 to 53 as proceedings moved forward, although the Macomb Township woman stated he did not try to contact her; she threatened through a third party to file a restraining order against him if he did.
Sikorski partnered with Henk at the now closed Farmbrooke Family Physicians practice at 22 Mile and Hayes roads in Macomb Township. The criminal charges stemmed from Henk s 1995 civil lawsuit against Sikorski after the pair parted ways.
Victims of stigma or manipulation?
Beth and the second woman both complained about the trial, which received significant media coverage. Defense attorney Stephen Rabaut attacked the credibility of the witnesses and suggested the accusers were influenced by a former employee of Sikorski who went to work for Henk.
The Macomb Township woman said the accusers were treated poorly in general.
That s the reason (sexually abused) women don t want to come forward, because of the way we were treated, she said.
Beth, as the lead witness, said she felt pressured and under scrutiny. She was questioned about her prescription drug use, she recalled. The case took more than two years after it went from district court to circuit court.
It kept getting postponements, the Macomb Township woman said. We were getting frustrated and the police detective was getting frustrated.
She said at the last minute a veteran prosecutor assigned to the case was removed to handle another proceeding.
Assistant Prosecutor Molly Zappitell, who remains an assistant prosecutor,
took over. Zappitell said last week she could not comment.