For years, I’ve kept a file inelegantly titled “Just Not Putting the B******s Away.”  Unfortunately, it is a thick file.  Here is the latest entry.

The St. Petersburg Times reported this morning that fugitive Tampa Bay area physician Rory P. Doyle has surfaced in Ireland, where he fled after being permitted to bail out on a double child-molestation charge in Florida in 2001.  Dr. Doyle somehow obtained permission to re-register to practice medicine in Ireland under his own name and then somehow received permission to change his name to Dr. David West.  In addition to the largesse demonstrated by these serial “benefits of the doubt,” an Irish judge now refuses to imprison him prior to his extradition to the United States.  

So judges in two countries have allowed Doyle to walk free despite his uncanny resemblance to the illustration accompanying the term “flight risk.”  Worse, when Doyle was brought up before the Irish Medical Board in October of last year on new charges of profession misconduct, it was discovered that he was a fugitive wanted for child molestation in the United States and had changed his name to conceal his crimes; yet the Board agreed to allow him to continue practicing medicine so long as he agreed “not to treat children in his practice and only to perform cosmetic surgery.”  As children are not big purchasers of Botox, this was hardly an onerous restriction (the Board roused from its slumbers and suspended Dr. Doyle’s license only last week). 

One must not treat Dr. Doyle/Dr. West too harshly, it is felt.  The Irish Times, in reporting this story, carefully characterizes Doyle’s flight to Ireland as an “alleged” event:

AN IRISH doctor who re- registered to practise medicine here just months before he allegedly jumped bail in Florida on child sex assault charges . . .

Even Doyle himself does not appear to be disputing that he is the Dr. Doyle who fled the United States, registered as Doyle with the Irish Medical Board, and then changed his name.  Yet one must never impugn the merely accused, even if the cost is impugning the victims.  The verbal tic of affixing the term “alleged” to the description of any person’s crime has spread to include those already convicted of crimes, and even to those who readily admit they are guilty.     

Disapproval, however mild, is apparently a far worse transgression than crime itself, as the Medical Board demonstrated in December when they deemed the standards of their profession flexible enough to embrace a known fugitive from the law and accused child molester who used the Irish courts to conceal his identity from people seeking medical care from him.  

The judge who is currently allowing Doyle to remain free pending extradition for the crime of fleeing the last time a judge let him remain free is similarly guilty of practicing a pathological approbation of the accused.  

Or perhaps I should say allegedly guilty, as no-one is ever truly guilty of anything anymore.

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