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Patient alleges married Santa Rosa Kaiser doctors used her as 'sex toy,' stole her pot

Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 3:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 25, 2013 at 10:24 a.m.

A woman who claims she was tricked into becoming a "sex toy" for her Santa Rosa Kaiser primary care physicians -- a married couple -- is suing the doctors and the hospital for undisclosed damages.

Her 44-page complaint filed this month in Sonoma County Superior Court alleges that physicians Edward and Karen Rose exploited the doctor-patient relationship by seducing the unnamed woman and stealing her marijuana.

It describes a relationship that allegedly grew over time from hugs and text messages to an alcohol-fueled threesome at the couple's Fountaingrove home and a sexual encounter in a hospital examination room.

The suit alleges 13 causes of action including sexual battery, negligent hiring and the infliction of intentional emotional distress. It seeks punitive damages and attorney fees in addition to compensation for three pounds of purloined pot.

"The Roses' seduction, inebriation and repeated sexual battery of their patient was a conscious exploitation of their status as physicians, which they used to coerce and trick Jane Doe into becoming their sex toy, both on the Kaiser campus and off," Santa Rosa attorney Peter Goldstone wrote in the complaint.

The Roses, who are no longer employed by Kaiser, didn't respond to repeated requests for comment.

Kaiser attorney Ann Larson also wouldn't discuss details, including whether hospital administrators knew of the alleged affair, citing patient privacy concerns and the hospital's own investigation.

"They have both been gone from Kaiser since early 2012, which sort of speaks to the issue," she said.

Both Roses remain licensed by the state, and Ed Rose is working as a contract physician at La Clinica de La Raza in Vallejo, clinic officials confirmed. His LinkedIn profile says he is leaving clinical medicine and is interested in positions that don't require an active medical license.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, alleges she sought treatment for abdominal pain from her Kaiser physician, Karen Rose, starting in 2008. She was later treated by Ed Rose in 2011.

Karen Rose was "unusually warm" with the woman, frequently embracing her during office visits, the lawsuit said. The two struck up a friendship, sharing stories of childhood abuse and smoking pot together at the Roses' house, the suit said.

At one point, Karen Rose signed a form authorizing her to obtain medical marijuana on behalf of Jane Doe and also regularly purchased pot for Doe at a local dispensary, the suit said.

In October 2011, Karen Rose proposed a drinking contest in which the three would see who could consume the most champagne, the suit said. At the contest, held the following month, Jane Doe became intoxicated and was forced to have sex with both doctors after they rubbed cream on a new tattoo on her back, the suit said.

The sexual relationship continued for the next three months and included a December encounter in a Kaiser exam room, the suit said. The woman cut ties with the doctors in January 2012, the suit said.

She said the Roses refused to return three pounds of marijuana she was keeping with them.

About that time, the woman said the hospital became aware of the improper relationship.

According to the Medical Board of California, it may be against the law for a doctor to engage in a personal relationship with a patient, even if it is consensual. Such a relationship is viewed as a "very serious breach of public trust" and could be grounds for discipline by the board.

Goldstone would not say if the woman pursued criminal charges. Neither Santa Rosa police nor the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office received reports about the Roses.

"The complaint speaks for itself," Goldstone said. "There's not a lot more to say at this time."

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