Monday, September 25, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Monday, September 25, 2023 | Back issues
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Patient Says Her Doc Is a Philanderer

SEATTLE (CN) - A woman who was separating from her husband claims her doctor preyed upon her vulnerability by initiating a sexual relationship, concealed that he had herpes, and that at least two other women he was having sex with had herpes, provided her with "illicit substances," asked her to lie to investigators, and threatened her by saying he "was powerful and had a lot of money."

The woman, K.B., claims Dr. Sjardo Steneker, who operates Vashon Family Practice, "solicited and induced a romantic and sexual relationship with plaintiff by misconduct including grooming, charming, manipulating, and expressing his fantasies about plaintiff," according to her complaint in King County Court.

"In the course of his misconduct toward plaintiff, defendant Steneker induced unprotected sexual intercourse; misrepresented to plaintiff that he did not have any sexually transmitted diseases (including genital herpes), when in fact he did have genital herpes; became sexually and/or romantically involved with other women without disclosing this to plaintiff, instead misrepresenting to her that she and he were monogamous; provided plaintiff with a toothbrush which other women involved with defendant Steneker also used, without disclosing this to her; provided her with medications outside of his medical treatment and care of her; provided her and took illicit substances with her; exploited her; and disregarded her physical and emotional health," the complaint states.

"On or about May 23, 2009, plaintiff learned that defendant Steneker had not been truthful and he was or had been sexually involved with other women. Defendant Steneker also had genital herpes prior to entering into their relationship but never disclosed this to plaintiff despite having multiple unprotected sexual relations with her. Plaintiff also learned that at least two other women who defendant Steneker was having sex with had herpes. Defendant Steneker asked and encouraged plaintiff to make false statements and possibly perjure herself in any investigation of him.

Defendant Steneker engaged in threatening behavior toward plaintiff, telling her he was powerful and had a lot of money," according to the complaint.

K.B. says she learned that other women had filed complaints about Steneker with the Washington State Department of Health and that he had told "one or both that they could have unprotected sex with him since he already had genital herpes - the opposite of what he had told plaintiff."

K.B. seeks damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, medical expenses, negligence and malpractice. She is represented by Robert Zielke.

Appended to the complaint is a 7-page "Amended Statement of Charges" against Steneker from the Washington Secretary of Health. It alleges wrongdoing with seven patients, A through G; sexually-consummated relationships with at least four of them; an "inappropriate relationship" with a fifth; claims that Steneker "kissed and hugged ... in a romantic manner" a sixth; and claims that Steneker lied about at least one of the sexually consummated relationships. The document charges Steneker with unprofessional conduct and sexual misconduct.

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