Utah neurosurgeon reportedly groped unconscious patient during surgery
OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) — A Utah neurosurgeon has been arrested and accused of sexual battery after reportedly groping an unconscious patient during surgery.
Charging documents by a Weber County Sheriff state that on Oct. 11, 2021, an adult woman went under surgery at the Ogden Regional Medical Center in Ogden, Utah.
Members of the team assisting in the operation state that the neurosurgeon performing the surgery, 65-year-old Dr. Bryson Smith, sexually assaulted the patient during this time.
Smith was reportedly performing an anterior cervical decompression fusion (ACDF) surgery on the patient when he began making statements about his sexuality and “swinging”, according to a team member.
Smith then allegedly placed his hand on the unconscious patient’s breast, which was covered by a thin surgical sheet, and “squeezed for approximately 1 to 1.5 seconds.”
One witness stated that when this happened, no one in the room said anything, which he reportedly believed was due to the shock of witnessing Smith squeezing the unconscious victim’s breasts.
The probable cause affidavit shows that Smith also asked his team not to report him after the incident, making a statement along the lines of “Uh, no one report me for that,” and “Please don’t report me to HR.”
Smith reportedly also made a comment about the victim’s breasts, saying “It’s a good thing she has these nice pads here that I can rest my hands on.” Other details of the sexual assault were described by one of the witnesses as well.
On July 28, Smith was taken to the Weber County Jail on two counts of sexual battery.