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‘Every Woman’s Nightmare’: Disgraced Ohio Doctor Indicted for the Alleged Rape, Sexual Battery of Female Patients

Donald Alexander Gronbeck

Donald Alexander Gronbeck

A 42-year-old permanently suspended doctor in Ohio was arrested on Friday after being indicted on 50 counts of sexual misconduct involving 15 female patients over the course of nine years.

A Greene County Grand Jury returned a true bill indicting Donald Alexander Gronbeck on nine counts of rape, 10 counts of sexual battery, 15 counts of gross sexual imposition, and 16 counts of sexual imposition, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

“The indictment is the result of a year-long collaborative investigation that was initiated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office,” Greene County Prosecutor David Hayes said during a Monday afternoon press conference.

Hayes also announced that attorneys in his office had filed court documents seeking to have Gronbeck remain in pretrial detention without bond, the Dayton Daily News reported.

“We do believe that former Dr. Gronbeck is a flight risk,” Hayes reportedly said. “We believe that due to the fact that he was a physician he’s a person of resources, a person of means. I believe he still owns property in the county and that is why we are asking the court for no bond.”

Hayes was joined at the press conference announcing Gronbeck’s indictment by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) and Greene County Sheriff Scott Anger.

“This case reflects every woman’s nightmare,” Yost said. “A physician is someone that we all trust to act in our best interest, to be professional, to have a level of detachment. To turn medical treatment into a sexual assault is an incredibly graphic and brutal betrayal of trust.”

According to a report from Dayton NBC affiliate WDTN, the investigation into Gronbeck’s alleged criminal behavior began after several patients and employees filed a report about possible misconduct with the sheriff’s office over a year ago. The victims had reportedly all been Gronbeck’s patients and sought treatment from him at his now-closed private practice office in Yellow Springs or his office at Antioch College.

Accusations of sexual misconduct that took place between 2013 and 2022 reportedly resulted in Gronbeck’s medical license being revoked in January 2022 by the State Medical Board of Ohio. A copy of the filing said women reported Gronbeck digitally penetrating them “vaginally and/or anally” and groping their breasts. He was also accused of “engag[ing] in a romantic relationship (sexual)” with a patient.

Gronbeck’s defense attorney, Jon Paul Rion, said the criminal charges against his client were actually the result of “personal vendettas,” in a statement to the Wilmington News Journal.

“There is more to this issue than what appears,” Rion reportedly told the newspaper. “We believe our client is not in violation of any law. We believe this situation has occurred as a result of a monetary lawsuit recently brought against our client as a result of personal vendettas.”

Gronbeck is scheduled to appear before Greene County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Buckwalter on Thursday afternoon for a bond hearing. If convicted, Gronbeck faces up to 80 years in prison.

In early 2022, Antioch College’s president reacted to Gronbeck’s suspension by calling the allegations “harrowing.”

“Like many of you, I am grappling with the harrowing news that the State Medical Board of Ohio suspended the medical license of Dr. Donald Gronbeck, Antioch Class of 2002 and former campus doctor from 2015-2019,” the statement from Jane K. Fernandes said. “Antioch College unequivocally condemns sexual violence of any nature and we are working with local authorities to provide information and help ensure that a full accounting is made of any harms done as a result of Dr. Gronbeck’s work for the College.”

[Image via Greene County Sheriff’s Office]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.