South Fort Myers doctor accused of sexually touching patients

UPDATE

The Florida Department of Health has suspended the medical license of Raul David Davila, who was arrested in August after numerous women said he sexually assaulted them during consultations.

EARLIER

Three female victims have come forward accusing the same doctor of sexually touching them. They were all going to his office in south Fort Myers. Two of them say he would massage them before sexually touching them.

Tuesday, Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested Raul David Davila, 66, on charges related to either sexual battery or battery on patients he was seeing.

Davila is listed as a practicing general anesthesiologist. Investigators say his patient-victims were visiting him at an office at 8192 College Parkway in south Fort Myers, where all three female victims accuse him of touching them sexually during patient visits.

“It’s so far beyond inappropriate,” said Laura Streyffeler, a licensed mental health counselor. “It’s egregious behavior.”

Among her areas of focus, Streyffeler specializes in treating patients of sexual and domestic abuse. Her information is based on reading the police report and not any personal involvement in the case.

“Just because somebody has alphabet soup next to their name or higher education doesn’t make them immune to illegal, inappropriate and really horrific behaviors,” Streyffeler said.

Trauma investigators say what Davila inflicted on these victims could last a lifetime.

“That trauma presents in different ways, not just with triggers, but in different life stages,” Streyffeler said.

According to the arrest report, Davila is accused of sexual battery on a female patient 12 years of age or older around early July. He is accused of battery on a female patient in January 2021 and is also accused of battery on a female patient in March 2020.

The victim who is 12 years or older and the victim who accused Davila of battery in March 2020 both described similar patient visits with Davila using a “massage gun” to treat pain and then sexually touching them.

The victim who accused Davila in March 2020 said a normal visit with Davila involved paying $200 in cash, checking in and having vitals taken by a front desk worker. Then, they would meet with Davila, either in an office or another room, to stretch because “he knows yoga.” The victim says Davila told her he is not allowed to touch patients because he is not a licensed physical therapist and told her not to to tell anyone. She also said Davila would not allow patients to receive their prescriptions until he finished doing what he was doing. She said she had seen Davila for about a year without issue, but over the following year visits with him became increasingly inappropriate.

The victim who is 12 years or older told investigators she had been seeing Davila as a patient for two years before the date she accused him of sexual assault. The victim told investigators she told Davila “no” when he is accused of assaulting her. He went on to apologize and told the victim it was her fault because “she was so beautiful, and she is special to him.”

The victim who accused Davila in January 2021 says she saw Davila for a monthly visit, and while being examined, she was sexually touched by Davila.

“It seemed like all three of the victims he knew for at least a year,” Streyffeler said. “So it sounds like he targeted people that he knew that he believed wouldn’t tell, or that he had some power over.”

One of the victims told investigators male patients would be in and out of Davila’s office within minutes, while female patients could be seen by him from 45 minutes to an hour.

A worker described as a secretary for Davila, who had been working for him since April 2020, spoke to investigators and said it was normal for Davila to see patients as late as 10 p.m. She told them she thought this was normal, since it was a private practice. Although she is not a nurse, the secretary said she was tasked with taking patient vitals — blood pressure, oxygen and weight — and had received one day of training from the previous secretary before performing her duties.

Davila gave DNA evidence back in July via mouth swab to investigators after they received a warrant. A search warrant for the south Fort Myers business was also obtained, and two computers and Davila’s cell phone were brought into evidence.

During the investigation, a detective learned about a 2013 battery Davila was a suspect in at a health practice in Fort Myers. The victim in that incident said Davila touched her inappropriately, as well as talking to her about sex. This investigation was handled by Fort Myers Police Department. The report does not confirm if Davila was arrested.

Davila’s medical license remained active Wednesday.

Davila was arrested for the current charges he faces and then released from Lee County Jail Wednesday on $30,000 bond.

Reporter:Gail Levy
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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