Victim's Family Calls Tulsa Doctor's Alleged Sexual Abuse 'Unforgivable'

Monday, October 11th 2010, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa doctor accused of sexually assaulting one of his patients is out of jail.

Dr. Richard Irwin faces three felony charges. The family of the patient told News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright they are shocked, devastated and angry.

10/8/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Pediatrician Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Patient

The accused victim is 33 years old and his parents say he has the mental capability of a 12- or 13-year-old, can read at a fifth grade level, lives in a group home with three other men, has autistic tendencies and is a huge sports fan.

He's been seeing Dr. Irwin twice a year since he was 10 years old. He told police that on 20 to 30 of those visits Dr. Irwin raped him.

Read the Affidavit 

Dr. Irwin works at Tulsa Developmental Pediatrics and specializes in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. His partners say he's intelligent, diligent and has a huge following of loyal patients.

But an arrest affidavit says one of those patients says Dr. Irwin sexually assaulted him over 20 years and told him to keep it a secret. The boy's parents were devastated when their son told them what happened to him, while they were sitting in the waiting room.

"He takes me into his office, locks the door, tells me to drop my pants and bend over the desk," said the patient's father said.

They say their son never deviates from his story and knows too many graphic details for this to be made up.

"As a mother, it broke my heart, that I didn't see it or connect the dots," the patient's mother said. "Yes, I'm mad, but I'm so sad for my son."

Police say Dr. Irwin first told them the patient could've seen Dr Irwin's penis during the July visit, because the employee bathroom was broken, so Dr. Irwin had to use the public restroom and the patient was using a nearby urinal.

But, police say other doctors and the building management folks had no recollection the employee restroom was broken. They say Dr. Irwin told them he had to examine the patient's privates because of a condition called Fragile X Syndrome and did so in front of interns, but, police say a geneticist told them there'd be no need for an exam.

Police also say none of the four interns they interviewed saw Dr. Irwin do such an exam.

Dr. Irwin told police there's an observation window in his office where anyone could look in, but police say the room on the other side of the window was filled with furniture and holiday decorations, blocking the view. They say Dr. Irwin told them the items had only been stacked there for two weeks, but police say other doctors told them it'd been that way for years."

The patient's mother and father hope that if other patients have been victims they will come forward.

"It's bad enough to do that to a regular person, but do that to a person who's mentally handicapped, is just unforgivable," patient's father said.

Dr. Julie Thomas who founded the clinic with Dr. Irwin says they have a 25 year history of distinguished service, they've always had confidence in Dr. Irwin and are devastated by these accusations.  She says they are cooperating with police and Dr. Irwin will not be seeing patients until this is sorted out, but the clinic will care of them.

Dr. Irwin's attorney told News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright Dr. Irwin didn't do this, that he's been treating patients with disabilities for 30 years and is looking forward to being vindicated in court.

Patients of Dr. Irwin who feel they may have been victimized can contact the Tulsa Mental Health Association or The Community Council of Tulsa.