Capital News Service

of the Michigan State University School of Journalism

Bill would deny health licenses to sex offenders

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By MEHAK BANSIL
Capital News Service

LANSING—A patient went to her dentist in Farmington Hills for a routine checkup, but instead of getting her teeth cleaned, she was molested.

“She complained to me, saying that the dentist had urinated and defecated on her after raping her,” said Rep. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge.  “And she begged me to do something about it.”

Jones is sponsoring legislation to prevent defendants convicted of first-, second-, or third-degree criminal sexual conduct from obtaining a health care license or having a health care license reinstated, as happened to the dentist, Donald Quinn, now based in Millington.

“I am totally shocked that the state of Michigan would give this man his license back,” Jones said. “How many more women and children need to be raped before we fix this?”

Quinn was convicted in 2002 of criminal sexual conduct and possession of ecstasy. After a year in jail and five years on probation, the Board of Dentistry reinstated his license in 2007.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan opposes the bill.

“That man should have never had his license reinstated, but that’s not what this legislation is about. It’s about every person ever convicted of first-, second-, or third-degree counts of criminal sexual conduct,” ACLU legislative director Shelli Weisberg said.

This legislation would apply to all licensed health professionals.

Weisberg said the legislation would affect Romeo-and-Juliet cases, another reason her organization opposes it. She cites as an example the case of a man whose license was revoked because as a 13-year-old he had sex with his 12-year-old cousin.

“What does a Romeo-and-Juliet event have to do with a health care license?” Weisberg said.

But according to Jones, sex offenders never change.

“In my experience as a law enforcement agent for 33 years, very few rapists are ever totally cured,” said Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff. “I believe statistics that say they can be are false.”

Co-sponsors include Reps. Vicki Barnett, D-Farmington Hills; Lesia Liss, D-Warren; Peter Lund, R-Shelby Township; and James Marleau, R-Lake Orion.

The bill is pending in the House Health Policy Committee.

© 2009, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Not to be reproduced without permission.

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