Shafeeq Sheikh sentencing shocker: Why did jurors choose probation for doctor found guilty in patient's rape?

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Shafeeq Sheikh avoided prison time for the 2013 sexual assault of a heavily sedated patient at Ben Taub Hospital.

Many are asking questions over a former Ben Taub hospital doctor who was sentenced to probation, not prison time, after he was found guilty of raping a woman.

Shafeeq Sheikh was arrested in October 2015 after a nearly two-year investigation into the assault that happened back in November 2013.

"People trust their doctors, people expect their doctors to take care of them," said Mark Weycer, an attorney who has represented the victim.

According to court documents, the victim was admitted to the hospital and, during the overnight hours, a person entered her room on three different occasions and sexually assaulted her. The patient was heavily sedated, according to the investigation.

RELATED: Shafeeq Sheikh sentenced to 10 years' probation for raping female patient
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Doctor sentenced to ten years probation



She also told police she tried to call for help but was unsuccessful. It was determined the next morning that the call button had been unplugged.

Sheikh testified the sex was consensual.

The five women and seven men on the jury found Sheikh guilty after more than 15 hours of deliberation. They handed down his sentence after about three hours of deliberation.
"Legal practitioners call it residual doubt," said Sheikh's attorney, Lisa Andrews. "Did they really believe she had consented or not? Maybe some of the members of the jury still had doubts about that?"

Sheikh's medical license has been revoked and he has been fired from Ben Taub Hospital.

The victim's civil lawsuit against Baylor College of Medicine and Ben Taub Hospital was dismissed by a judge, but is waiting to be heard by the state's Supreme Court.

ABC13 reached out to the Harris County District Attorney's Office, and they offered this statement:

"After being presented all the evidence, the jury convicted this man of rape and decided that he should be sentenced to 10 years of probation; the jury voted on behalf of the community to determine his sentence, and although prosecutors sought 20 years in prison, we respect this process, and the jury's decision, which carries with it a lifetime of registering as a sex offender."

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