Lawmakers criticize board's handling of sex assault claims

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana state senators are criticizing the way the Louisiana Physical Therapy Board handles sexual assault allegations.

The Advocate reports the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday questioned board officials about allegation handling and subsequent punishments.

Baton Rouge physical therapist Philippe Veeters is charged with sexual battery and accused of assaulting nine patients. His license to practice was suspended for nine months, something Sen. JP Morrell says is equivalent to a "slap on the wrist."

Two women who accused Veeters testified before lawmakers and said the board's complaint process was hostile. An attorney who investigates board complaints, George Papale, denied any mishandling.

The board director, Charlotte Martin, says the issues are being discussed at a special board meeting Thursday. Another senate hearing on the matter is set for May 29.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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