Thomas Keech is a retired assistant attorney general for the state of Maryland, having represented its State Board of Physicians for 16 years. During that time, Keech sought to discipline doctors who were sexual predators, perpetrators of insurance fraud, violators of self-referral laws and other types of heinous misbehavior.
The following excerpt is taken from Keech’s forthcoming book, Doc Doc Zeus. It chronicles the abuse a young woman named Diane encounters at the hands of a sexually predatory doctor. Doc Doc Zeus became available Aug. 1 via Real Nice Books.
(Editor’s note: The excerpt below depicts scenes and contains language that some readers — survivors of sexual abuse, in particular — may find offensive or triggering. Reader discretion is advised.)
Hartwicke Zeus had finished a residency in internal medicine and had passed his boards on the second try. He was partner in New Town Physicians, a group practice in New Town, a spanking clean new residential and commercial development adjacent to the last subway stop. They had the entire third floor of a new brick office building. Dr. Zeus was not well-liked within the group. Two of the other physicians were females, and they seemed to be offended by every word he said. He ran through his patient appointments with startling quickness, and this was the cause of a more than a few patient complaints. It was not uncommon for his patients to ask for another doctor. Over time, he focused on taking on the new patients, and he was completely fearless in diagnosing their problems after a first, short visit. He missed most of the office’s monthly case review meetings. He often parked in other people’s spots. Most of all, however, his partners took a dim view of him because he had never paid the last two of the three installments he was supposed to pay in order to buy into the partnership.
Dr. Zeus sat back in his chair in the church clinic after Diane left. It had been a very long day. He started his office hours at 6:30 at New Town Physicians, and he had to endure the resentments of the other partners when he left at 4:30 one afternoon a week for his work at his second job at the church’s clinic. He could not see their problem. He was one of two obstetrician-gynecologists at New Town’s office, but he also handled a lot of internal medicine cases. In fact he handled more patients at New Town than any of the others, ordered more comprehensive lab work, and diagnosed and treated the diabetics and the hypertensives as well as anybody. In addition, he had developed an informal, self-taught specialty in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis, patients that the other partners otherwise would have referred out. He was a big moneymaker for the practice. He resented his partners for still hounding him for his partnership payments. He was smarter and more ambitious and more energetic than any of them. But now it was after seven and he was tired. He was supposed to round on a patient in Freeland Hospital that night but decided to blow it off.
His wife Elena called him to let him know she was leaving for the condo at the shore.
“That’s a three-hour drive. You won’t be there until after 10.”
“Kyra’s spending the night with her friends. I told her to call you if she has any problems. I’m taking Sheila and Val. They’ll keep me awake. You don’t need to come.”
He didn’t understand his wife. She didn’t fit into any category of woman he knew to exist. Standard pretty brunette, of course. She was smart, but she had that demoralizing ability to dull down the intensity of human emotion. That ability, he believed, was the essential characteristic of all human resources professionals. It had taken him only a year to realize she was not his cup of tea. But she was a dutiful wife, and she gave him his daughter, Kyra. So they got along, even if she didn’t seem to need anything from him other than his boatloads of money and an occasional weekend dinner together with Kyra. Elena was his wife, not his life. His passions were far too powerful to be satisfied by her body alone. And she could not possibly understand the strength of his emotions. He didn’t even ask that of her.
He went back to the examining room and opened the supply cabinet. The work here was uninteresting, and the facility the church provided amounted to just three drafty, poorly-equipped rooms attached to the inside walls of a much larger building. Zeus once asked why the church didn’t just send their patients to his regular office. He never did get a straight answer from the church people, but Mrs. Halley told him later the church didn’t want its girls contaminated by contact with non-religious patients.
The work at the church’s clinic was easy, if repetitive. The girls were young and generally very healthy and were simply growing babies the way nature intended them to be. But he felt stressed that evening. He pulled a bottle of bourbon out of the bottom drawer of the supply cabinet and poured himself a shot. The church leaders would probably crap their pants if they saw that. He was sure Mrs. Halley would not approve.
He threw back the shot in two slow gulps. Oh, that burned just right! The warmth calmed his nerves and let him concentrate. Two separate things, he realized, were bothering him. There was that call from the lawyer, that special lawyer who dealt with those Board of Medicine things. He had no idea what it was about, but he decided not to call back right away. A worrisome call like that would easily be forgotten for the night after a few more shots.
More bothersome was this young girl, Diane. Today was the first time he had gone inside her without wearing gloves. He had wanted to do that from her first appointment, when he saw that young and pretty bitch opening up for him. Now he lifted his fingers to his nose, but he had wiped his hands too thoroughly, and too much time had passed. His erection gradually faded, though he could not get that girl out of his mind. But she was already suspicious of him, and the idea of her coming in for weekly appointments was so outlandish it wouldn’t fool anybody for long. He reran in his mind the scenes that had just taken place: Diane pulling herself out of the stirrups unbidden, tearing off the examining table paper to cover herself up — and even to blow her nose! — and accepting his compliments like she knew she was worthy of them. He wondered if she was as bold as she appeared to be. And that body! He knew he could make it shiver with joy. He needed to do that. Feel that. He wanted her. He deserved her. He wasn’t going to be able to dupe her like the stupid cunts he’d got off on before. But if he could slowly break her and train her to do what he wanted, it would be 10 times the fun.
His eyes were caught by the plastic tray on top of the instrument cabinet. In one of the little compartments in the tray lay three cartridges of Diane’s blood, drawn for repeat blood tests. The last batch had been analyzed two weeks before at PeakResults, the lab he owned. The tests altogether cost $898, 10 percent of which would eventually work its way back into his pocket. The “Deacon,” however, had squawked at the church paying for the blood tests last time. Dr. Zeus’s plan had been to bold it out, never retreat, order the tests again and ask the deacon if he wanted the best care for Diane or not. The deacon was a young guy and seemed to be going out of his way for Diane. It was easy to see how that could happen. But this was no time to get the deacon worked up, no time to draw attention to his own unnecessary encounters with Diane on the examination table. The risk wasn’t worth it, not for $89. He threw Diane’s blood into the medical waste bin.
‘It’s hard to talk about these things’
Ms. Porter: Katherine, did you know Dr. Zeus before becoming his patient?
Ms. Bolt: Oh, no.
Q: You didn’t know him at all before going to him for medical care?
Q: Okay. I just needed to clarify that there wasn’t any prior relationship. He wasn’t at any time a friend, a friend of the family, a relative …
A: God, no.
Q: Were you going to him for any specific gynecological problem?
A: No. We were done with all that. I came back to him because my knee hurt.
Q: Take as much time as you need to answer. I know it’s hard to talk about these things. But these are just the easy questions.