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The recent letters defending Dr. McGree make my blood run cold. The authors completely overlook the fact that Dr. McGree acknowledges sexual contact with his patients, in his office, no less. This alone is an unconscionable violation of professional standards. He acknowledged to police that he became aroused by his patients and just had to cop a feel. How creepy is that?

The allegations are not hearsay, but testimony of direct experience from several patients. The court found enough evidence to bring charges. These are profound accusations, accompanied by an admission by Dr. McGree, not some gossip you heard around the water cooler.

The authors defend McGree based on their own experiences alone and discount credible evidence. It is possible for both to be true. Dr. McGree did good things while also violating his patients. The good work he may have done does not hold him unaccountable for professional misconduct, or for crimes.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that this is the same mindset that has protected perpetrators of sexual assault in the Catholic church, the military and pretty much everywhere else that systematic abuse has been exposed. Some people just can’t believe that seemingly good people could also be predators.

And that’s how they get away with it.

Who wants to believe something so vile? No wonder the authors don’t want details, it’s revolting. Yeah, think how the victims feel.

But, rarely are people completely good or evil. Most sexual assaults are committed by people known to the victim, not strangers lurking in dark alleys. So that’s family, friends, bosses, even doctors. Stop enabling them with your denial.

Sexual assault isn’t about sex, it’s about power and control. Making excuses for a physician who used both to manipulate patients is rape culture in action. People wonder why accusers struggle to come forward; why would someone face the shame and pain when their stories are dismissed as “hearsay” and others defend he perp as an “asset” to the community?

Dr. McGree admitted groping his patients. The people of Butte, or any community, deserve higher standards than that.

— Elizabeth Wassen, Butte

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