Multiple Women Filed Claims, Yet Only One Man Revoked License
Seventeen women accused neurologist Philip Leonard of sexual abuse, but his medical license wasn’t taken away until a male patient came forward with similar accusations. Leonard’s license was finally revoked on June 15th.
According to documents filed with the Texas Medical Board, in 2003, Leonard’s medical license was temporarily suspended when allegations surfaced that he had engaged in improper sexual contact with female patients. Records show Leonard rubbed his erect penis on them or grabbed their breasts while they were under his care. One even said he put his hand down her underwear and tried to fondle her genitals.
Leonard was eventually put on trial for inappropriate behavior. The publicity surrounding the case helped other women come forward, and eight would eventually testify against him at a public medical board hearing. “It depended on where he was, but the way I like to put it (is) he led with his penis,” one of the women told the committee. After that, the board suspended Leonard’s license, stating that allowing him to continue practicing “would constitute a continuing threat to the public welfare.”
The physician who formerly served as the board’s president, Dr. Lee Anderson, said in 2016, “What he did was clearly an abuse of power over these women.” But, nevertheless, the neurologist was eventually acquitted. After his acquittal, the board restricted the physician’s license for ten years and he was prohibited from seeing female patients, but it was not revoked. He was not required to stop practicing, leaving male patients potentially susceptible to similar episodes.
Cathryn Blue, one of the women who accused Leonard of sexual misconduct, couldn’t believe it took so long for the board to act, stating Leonard’s license should have been revoked years ago. She said, “The board should have stepped up earlier. They had a responsibility to protect the public. When so many women come forward, how can you not see a problem?”
The new case against Leonard concerns a patient who was treated at his privately held Austin-based neurology clinic. The patient claimed the doctor had “violated sexual boundaries” during multiple visits, over-prescribed the opioid-based painkiller Norco, and didn’t keep accurate medical records on file.
Leonard had been treating that patient for chronic pain as a result of a back injury sustained in a car accident, as well as symptoms of depression and insomnia. Records show the patient believes Leonard had been using prescriptions to keep him silent. Leonard “had me dependent on him and the pills and he knew it,” the patient said.
According to records, this individual stopped seeing Leonard after a May 2015 office visit in which the doctor grabbed him inappropriately and said, “Nothing gets hard on you.” As soon as he left the office, the patient placed an emergency call to 911 and contacted Austin police.
He then filed a formal complaint with the board twice in 2015 accusing Leonard of inappropriately touching his genitals during visits which began in 2014, and the board subsequently followed up with the complaint in 2016. Since the board’s decision to finally revoke his license, Leonard has filed a motion for a rehearing.