LEAVENWORTH — A former physician assistant charged with physically abusing patients at a Kansas veterans hospital told law enforcement investigators that he failed to control urges and molested veterans entrusted to his care.
Leavenworth County prosecutors played for the jury a recording of the interview with Mark Wisner, a Horton resident charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors related to sexual battery and criminal sodomy. The offenses allegedly occurred from 2012 to 2014 while Wisner was employed at Eisenhower Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leavenworth.
“I don’t have any business in medicine. Period,” Wisner told investigators during the taped interview prior to being charged. He also said: “I never received any sexual gratification.”
The investigators questioned Wisner during the 2015 interview about targeting young or muscular VA patients, taking steps to convince them to return for regular treatment at the hospital and attempting to cover his tracks by maintaining false medical records.
They also asserted Wisner hadn’t come to grips with the gravity of his misconduct and the toll inflicted on patients, including combat veterans, who had walked into the VA hospital expecting to receive help with physical and mental challenges.
In the recording, Wisner made references to being abused by a grandfather when he was a teenager.
Defense attorney John Bryant objected to playing the recording for the jury, but the trial judge ruled the one-hour tape admissible.
Four former patients of Wisner testified Monday or Tuesday as prosecution witnesses about being subjected to unorthodox and embarrassing treatments by the VA physician assistant.
Under questioning by Assistant County Attorney Michael Jones, the men described scenes in which Wisner examined their testicles multiple times each year, rubbed their penis with his hands or initiated an exam resulting in forceful anal penetration. The witnesses said, based on their personal experience, Wisner’s techniques didn’t correlate to standard medical protocol and took advantage of trust placed in health professionals.
A contingent of former VA patients who received care from Wisner filed lawsuits in U.S. District Court. Some plaintiffs have sought $3 million in damages.