TAWAS CITY – After agreeing to plea no contest to a lesser charge, Dr. Devendra Kumar Sharma – Iosco County’s former medical examiner – will face no upfront jail time, according to documents from Iosco County’s 23rd Circuit Court.
Sharma, 71, Tawas City, faced two counts of 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct, high court misdemeanors, stemming from two separate cases.
Under the plea deals for the two charges, Sharma has agreed to plea no contest to the lesser charge of attempted 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct, with the original charges to be dismissed.
If the plea deal goes through as per the plea agreement, which a sentence judgment slated to be conducted in court on Aug. 5, Sharma must wear a tether, and stay away from the alleged victims’ homes while on the tether.
The amount of time Sharma must be on a tether, whether he will be ordered assessments or other restrictions, such a registration on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, have yet to be determined by a judge, court officials said.
Sharma first criminal sexual conduct case stemmed from an incident that allegedly took place in June 2016, where Sharma touched a female patient in a sexual manner, outside of medical treatment.
The incident allegedly occurred at Tawas Bay Family Practice, located on West Lake Street in Tawas City.
The woman told the Michigan State Police (MSP) that, during an office visit, she and Sharma were alone in a room when he allegedly fondled both of her breasts.
The woman claimed that this stopped when a nurse re-entered the room. She told police that Sharma touching her in that way was “inappropriate,” and not part of the reason for her office visit that day.
During a second incident, where Sharma was again charged with 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct, a patient of Sharma’s claimed he sexually assaulted her, during a medical exam at Tawas Bay Family Practice.
The woman alleged in court documents that Sharma touched her breasts more than once, while also making verbal comments which were not related to her medical exam.
Further, an employee of Tawas Bay Family Practice claims to have entered the exam room that day and saw Sharma pull away the front of the woman’s shirt.
The staff member told the MSP that Sharma made a comment about the patient’s breasts which, in the employee’s opinion, was not part of the medical exam.
After the charges, and subsequent arrest on the charges Sharma was placed on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid Michigan Sanction Provider List on Nov. 19, 2018, and he was suspended.
Sharma also resigned as the county’s medical examiner in April. After the resignation the Iosco County Board of Commissioners voted to hire Dr. Jaya Sankaran, a Tawas pathologist, after his recommendation for a replacement. This is for a term that will expire Dec. 31, 2020.