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Claremont police arrest suspended doctor on sexual assault charges

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent

January 29. 2018 8:10PM
DR. ERIC KNIGHT 



CLAREMONT — A doctor whose license to practice medicine was suspended in September for alleged sexual relationships with a patient has been charged with aggravated felonious sexual assault.

Eric L. Knight, 50, of Derry was charged after a four-month investigation, Claremont Police Chief Mark Chase and Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said Monday.

The charge pertains to a woman he treated while he was a doctor at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont. He was fired from Valley Regional in June after he “self-reported” a sexual relationship with a patient to the New Hampshire Board of Medicine and also disclosed the relationship to Valley Regional CEO and President Peter Wright in May.

“The criminal investigation was initiated in September 2017 as a result of an order of suspension issued by the New Hampshire Board of Medicine,” Chase and Hathaway said in the announcement.

The investigation is ongoing; additional charges are anticipated, Hathaway said.

The order of suspension alleged that Knight had engaged in an unlawful sexual relationship with a patient while practicing medicine at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont.

The Board of Medicine’s order to suspend Knight’s license alleges he had a sexual relationship with a second woman who was also his patient in 2013 and 2014 while he was at Elliot Primary Care in Londonderry.

Hathaway said the Claremont police investigated the sexual relationship that occurred in Sullivan County.

That relationship allegedly began about two months after their doctor/patient relationship commenced, at the end of October or beginning of November 2016.

According to the suspension order, the first encounter occurred in Knight’s Claremont office on the exam table. The Board of Medicine order said Knight told the woman “it was time and then laid her on her back on the exam table, removed her clothes and had sexual intercourse with her.”

Knight then gave the woman her prescriptions and left the office, the order said.

The woman told the Board of Medicine she was raped by Knight on multiple occasions, including in the men’s locker room at Valley Regional Hospital during which she had “told him no, due to severe pain she was experiencing.”

He also allegedly raped her in the basement of his Sunapee apartment, the order said. He allegedly stayed in the rental property three nights a week while working in Claremont.

Knight allegedly provided the woman with prescriptions after sex and would sometimes take medicine from her for himself.

The order also alleges that on more than one occasion he had crushed up medication and put it in her drink, causing her to pass out.

Knight told the woman he wanted to have a baby with her and gave her hormone injections, the order said. The woman said she became pregnant twice, but miscarried both times.

Valley Regional’s Wright said in September that Knight had told him “he had been carrying on this relationship, the guilt had gotten to him and it was important to stop it ... He stopped it, told his wife, told his church and told us.”

Wright said in September that within 24 hours of Knight’s disclosure last May, the hospital made an initial report to the Board of Medicine and began an internal investigation, including a review of his patient files and prescribing practices.

The Board of Medicine wrote in its order of suspension of Knight in September that the hospital eventually found that out of the 87 patients that Knight prescribed narcotics to, only two had pain contracts, which is required by state regulations.

Knight turned himself in Friday at the Claremont police station and was released on bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 12 in the 5th Circuit Court District Division in Claremont.

Police are asking anyone with information about the investigation to contact Claremont police detective Capt. Stephen A. Lee at (603) 542-7010 or email him at slee@claremontnh.com.

mpierce@newstote.com


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