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Ex- midstate doctor gets up to 95 years for drugging 3 women, abusing 2

Written by Becky Metrock/Chambersburg Public Opinion | Jun 5, 2017 9:16 AM

 

Sohael-Raschid.jpg

Sohael Raschid's medical license was suspended in March, and criminal charges began stacking up soon after.(Photo: Franklin County Jail)

(Chambersburg) -- A former Chambersburg-area OG/GYN was sentenced to 30-95 years in state prison Friday, on convictions of drugging two women and a teen girl, and sexually assaulting two of those victims.

Sohael Raschid, 60, was sentenced after more than three hours of testimony and evidence being presented by the prosecutor, who was arguing for the highest possible sentence.

Raschid still has two cases pending in criminal court that have not gone to trial yet.

During the hearing, First Assistant District Attorney Lauren Sulcove referred to a letter from Raschid's brother supporting the defendant, and referring to the Hippocratic Oath, a standard of the medical profession. The oath suggests that the person taking it will do no harm.

In response to the letter, Sulcove said that Raschid is in fact a hypocrite "who has violated a sacred oath to do no harm."

Sulcove said Raschid "must be removed from our society," letting the victims' statements and a review of prior police contacts explain why.

Sulcove also introduced several pieces of new evidence during the hearing including testimony from a woman who was allegedly assaulted by Raschid in 1998, and efforts that Raschid made to reach out to his victims after his conviction.

One of Raschid's victims, who wept through her testimony and had to have Sulcove read her statement, was 19 when she was assaulted.

The woman's statement said "I hate that I will carry this burden for the rest of my life."

She also said she would not feel safe if Raschid returned to the public.

The woman then turned to Raschid, having handed him a picture from when her sister - whom Rashid delivered - was born. She cried as she told him how that day impacted her, especially because he saved her mother's life in the delivery room.

"I will never understand why you did this to me," she said.

Another victim told Raschid the he will never know how it feels to have known and trusted him, for more than two decades, "and be betrayed in such a repulsive manner."

Raschid's youngest victim recounted how her life changed forever the night she was raped.

She recalled how she went from watching Dateline with her mom, to when "the cruel and horrible things I saw on tv became my reality."

She described feeling defeated, not being able to fight back.

The girl said due to her religious beliefs, she forgives Raschid.

"I will pray that God will slay the monster inside of you," she told him.

Raschid testified for the first time Friday, speaking to the mention of the Hippocratic Oath, and referred to an incident early in his career that could have ended his career.

At the time, he said he learned that if he had gotten in trouble then, he would have missed out on helping all these other people.

He discussed the many contacts with police, and how they are coming back to haunt him but never led to convictions.

Raschid admitted on the witness stand that he gave the wrong dose of drugs to one victim, but said that is all he is guilty of.

"I don't feel that I've committed these crimes," Raschid said, later adding that he will not be helping out any "broken" people anymore, because he has to protect himself.

He ended his testimony by asking for mercy.

Franklin County Judge Jeremiah Zook told Raschid that his position as a doctor "gave him extraordinary power" and that his actions "caused extreme erosion of trust in the medical profession by our community."

Zook said he had little doubt Raschid was seen as a pillar of the community, and that a pillar's role is to support, hold up and sure that the community doesn't fall. 

Zook told Raschid that he does not have to consider mercy, but rather the public's safety and hand down consequences for Raschid's actions. Zook also said that Raschid used his special knowledge as as physician to harm his victims.

"You're not a rapist who happens to be a doctor," Zook said. "You were able to rape because you are a doctor."

Along with Raschid's prison time, he is prohibited from contacting victims, and is being ordered to pay several thousand dollars in fines, restitution and cost of prosecution.

Raschid's attorney Steve Rice will also be withdrawing as his attorney, and Raschid will be represented by the Public Defender's Office for his remaining cases.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and Public Opinion Online.

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