Skip to Content

GRAPHIC CONTENT: FBI arrests former Beckley VAMC doctor, Dept. of Justice announces Civil Rights Offense charge

Yates, Jonathan David,  - 3652112_Mug_Front_20200402082350

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested a former doctor at the Beckley VA Medical Center on Thursday.

Dr. Jonathan Yates is charged in a criminal complaint with depriving a veteran of his civil rights under color of law.

According to a release by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Yates was arrested without incident at his home on Thursday by Special Agents of the FBI and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, with the assistance of the Bluefield, Virginia Police Department.

Yates was scheduled for an initial appearance at 1:00 pm on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Omar Aboulhosn.

According to the complaint filed Wednesday, Dr. Yates was an osteopathic doctor at the Beckley VA Medical Center from April 2018- June 2019.

The complaint included statements from four different witnesses -- one of which was a U.S. Army veteran who said the doctor locked him in an exam room in February of 2019.

According to court records, that veteran said he went to the doctor for a referral and told the physician he did not want his neck cracked. He said Dr. Yates then locked the door and proceeded to massage his chest and calling him "a real man." The witness said Dr. Yates later pulled his boxers down and started grabbing his private parts to the point of pain. He said the doctor continued despite being told to stop.

During the same appointment, the patient reported that Dr. Yates later slapped his backside and cracked his neck after being asked not to, which incapacitated the patient. "This neck crack caused veteran to experience severe pain and numbness throughout his body. Veteran 1 could not move," the complaint read.

Multiple patients reported similar behavior during their visits with Dr. Yates that were detailed in the complaint.

Also included in the filing was a statement by another doctor who worked with Dr. Yates directly. The physician reported hearing Dr. Yates say something along the lines of "I'm not able to explore the things I'd like to with some of the guys because I'm a married man and my wife wouldn't understand."

In the release by the U.S. Dept. of Justice on Thursday, a spokesperson said the investigation into Dr. Yates remains ongoing. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5342).

Deprivation of rights under color of law as charged in the complaint is punishable by up to life in prison.

The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Veterans Affairs Police Department. The U.S. Attorney’s Office sought immediate detention in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg McVey of the Southern District of West Virginia.

See past coverage:

Author Profile Photo

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

Skip to content