Accused doctor asks that sexual battery cases be split

Darryl Henry

ELKHART — An Elkhart doctor facing allegations of sexual battery from two patients is asking the court to separate the cases.

Darryl Henry, 51, is charged with two counts of sexual battery compelled by force or threat, a Level 6 felony, following a police investigation into the women's claims about alleged incidents in May. The women, patients at the same clinic who were getting physical exams for work, reported to two different police departments that Henry acted inappropriately toward them.

One woman alleged that he felt her breast bare-handed instead of using a stethoscope, and told her, “I can be your gynecologist if you want me to be.” She gave police a cellphone video she secretly took during the encounter.

The other woman said Henry told her to take off her shirt, and when he learned that she had a cosmetic procedure on her buttocks and waist, told her, "They did a good job." She said he removed more of her clothing and touched her during the incident.

Henry denied the allegations when questioned by police. He was arrested in August and given an initial court hearing on the charges Sept. 27.

His lawyer filed a motion to sever the two counts, saying they were only combined in the same court case because they're both sexual battery charges. Attorney William Cohen argues that Henry has an absolute right to have the counts separated and the court has no discretion to deny the request. 

Cohen says in the motion that severance would promote a fair determination of Henry's guilt or innocence of each offense, and that denying the request would deny his right to a fair trial.

"It would create the 'forbidden inference' in front of the jury that if the defendant is charged with two similar crimes, he must have committed both," Cohen wrote.

Elkhart County Superior Court 1 Judge Kristine Osterday gave prosecutors 30 days to respond, after which she will set a hearing on Henry's request.

Henry's ability to practice medicine was revoked in Illinois in 2018 after he was convicted of criminal confinement in Allen County, Indiana, in 2013. The Medical Licensing board of Indiana placed him on probation in 2015 but lifted it a year later.

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