MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A doctor at the Macomb County Jail is accused of sexual misconduct with three female inmates.
Dr. Steven Cogswell, 53, of Waterford, is charged with six counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, each count a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham held a news conference Friday morning to address the case. He said Cogswell is accused of inappropriately touching two female patients in their genital areas. A third female inmate said she intentionally performed a sexual act on the doctor in exchange for candy and tobacco, the Sheriff said.
Wockersham said the victims are a 29-year-old woman, a 27-year-old woman and 31-year-old woman. Sheriff's detectives first received a note from an inmate about the alleged misconduct on Sept. 16, 2018. The note referenced the two allegations about inappropriate touching. Wickersham said they discovered the third woman's allegations during an investigation after receiving the note.
Cogswell was considered a contract employee with Correct Care Solutions. He began the job on Aug. 8, 2018. He was fired from the job earlier this month after the allegations were brought forward in September.
Wickerhsam said the doctor was alone with the inmates during examinations.
"All three of these female inmates, during their examination, were alone in the examination room ... the door is open during certain examinations and they pull a screen for privacy," he said. "Correct Care Solutions does not have a policy for ... having a nurse in there during examination ... but they're developing one at our request."
The sheriff said Correct Care Solutions does not require a female medical professional to be in the room for examinations on female patients.
"That's on the contractor. They're providing the medical care here," he said.
Correct Care Solutions has been working with the Macomb County Jail since 2011. Their contract is up at the end of this year. They will bring in a new doctor for the jail.
"Medical care is still continuing," the sheriff said.
Wickersham's office said his detectives investigated Cogswell and sought the charges, which were issued by Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith.
"This man’s actions were an outrageous abuse of power," Smith said in a news release Thursday. "Doctor Cogswell had access to vulnerable women and sexually exploited them. This type of despicable behavior from a medical professional will not be tolerated."
Cogswell is expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon.
Wickersham's office has faced criticism for recent inmate deaths at the jail. He defended his workers on Friday.
"The men and women that work here at the Sheriff's Office, they care. We don't look a different way and look down on them because they are inmates. That does not happen here. We do the best we can with the resources that we have, with the facility that we have, we try and do our best," he said.