Macomb County prosecutors have accused Dr. Steven Cogswell, a physician treating inmates at the Macomb County Jail, with six counts of second-degree criminal sexual contact.
Cogswell was employed by Correct Care Solutions, a Tennessee-based company supplying medical services to Macomb County inmates. Upon learning of the charges, Correct Care Solutions fired Cogswell. The doctor began working with the company in August.
The sexual assaults apparently started soon afterward, as they reportedly occurred in August and September. He is currently behind bars on a $250,000 bond. If convicted, Cogswell faces 15 years in prison. Cogswell was a family medical doctor in Troy, Michigan, and was in practice for more than 20 years.
There are no outstanding complaints against him as a physician with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. In a 2005 article, Cogswell was featured as a doctor who did not work out of an office but made house calls.
He also did not accept insurance, requiring patients to pay cash for his services. Cogswell’s Twitter account describes him as a former U.S. Navy Officer, conservative and Christian. The account, however, has been taken down.
Sex in Exchange for Candy and Cigarettes
Three inmates, aged 27 to 31, claim the doctor touched their genitals in a sexual manner. One victim said she performed a sexual act on Cogswell in exchange for candy and tobacco. At the time of the incidents, the doctor was in an exam room with the patients with no nurse present.
Another inmate at the jail alerted deputies, after hearing two inmates discuss Cogswell’s inappropriate touching of their genitals. During the subsequent investigation, authorities learned of the third inmate who had traded sex for candy and cigarettes.
Cogswell, 53, is married with three children and is a lifelong resident of Michigan. His cellphone provided much of the evidence, as it contained explicit videos of his conduct, making it more than a “he said, she said” situation, according to Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.
Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith released a statement in which he said, “This man’s actions were an outrageous abuse of power. Dr. Cogswell had access to vulnerable women and sexually exploited them. This type of despicable behavior from a medical professional will not be tolerated.”
Profits Over Patients
As of 2017, Correct Care Solutions faced six wrongful death lawsuits in Colorado alone, with others filed in at least nine states. Many of these deaths could have been prevented, according to the lawsuits, and include an inmate who lost a considerable amount of weight and became “delusional before dying of prescription drug withdrawal; an inmate with a treatable condition who drowned in his own blood and vomit, and a mentally impaired inmate who succumbed to seizures after jailers confiscated took away a medical device used to prevent them. The company has also been named as a defendant in 37 more pending lawsuits in the state. Attorneys for the plaintiffs cite a culture of “deliberate indifference” among company staffers and a culture of maximizing profits over inmate health.
“Band-Aids” for Jail Facility
The Cogswell case is just the latest problem at the aging Macomb County facility. It has been over capacity for some time, and millions of dollars have been spent in so-called “Band-Aid” repairs while the county considers replacement or expansion of the jail.
In July, the family of an inmate who died at the jail filed a lawsuit claiming the inmate was “visibly ill” when he entered the facility in November 2016, and that he and family members pleaded for medical attention. The man’s condition included symptoms of pneumonia, severe infection, including sepsis, chronic respiratory lesions, and COPD.”
Jail personnel ignored their pleas, and the following month the inmate collapsed in his cell, comatose. He remained in that condition at a local hospital until his death in October 2017. Over the past five years, more than a half-dozen lawsuits have been filed against the facility over inmate deaths, some of which involve medical negligence.
If you or a loved one are a victim of sexual assault or suspicious medical circumstances in a U.S. jail or prison, we can help. We file federal civil rights lawsuits to stop the conduct and get financial compensation for victims’ emotional and physical pain and suffering. Call Us at 866.836.4684 or Connect Online.