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The Seattle Times License to Harm


Sunday, April 23, 2006 - Page updated at 12:02 AM


About this series

In this first accounting of sexual misconduct in Washington health care, Seattle Times staff reporters obtained and analyzed thousands of disciplinary cases against licensed professionals. The reporters interviewed more than 250 people, including experts, offenders, health care professionals, state regulators and law enforcement officials.


Reporters: Michael J. Berens, Julia Sommerfeld, Carol M. Ostrom

Editor: James Neff

Desk editor: Jerry Holloron

Photographer: John Lok

Photo editor: Fred Nelson

Print designer: Denise Clifton

Graphics: Michelle McMullen, Whitney Stensrud

Researchers: David Turim, Gene Balk

Online producer: Paige Bills

Online designer: Heidi Brown

Database engineer: Matt Pressnall

Database analysis: Michael J. Berens

Database editing: Nick Provenza

The reporters filed nearly 100 state public record requests and obtained more than 10,000 pages of health department investigative reports, memos and e-mails. That information was used to create a computer database of sexual misconduct cases from 1995 to 2005.

Dozens of cases were opened for the first time through legal challenges filed by the newspaper. In ruling for The Times, the Washington Attorney General's Office said that state health officials had been improperly withholding public information for more than a decade.

Reporters also obtained databases of allegations and administrative files from the state health department. To track practitioners who had undisclosed felony sex convictions, the reporters cross-matched practitioners' names in health department records with names in a database of Washington criminal convictions previously obtained from the Washington State Patrol.

Reporters relied on police, criminal and civil court records from nearly all of the state's 39 counties.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company



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