Woman claims she was inappropriately touched by Mt. Holly doctor

Woman accuses physician of sexual assault
Published: Oct. 26, 2017 at 4:21 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2017 at 6:53 AM EDT
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MOUNT HOLLY, NC (WBTV) - Kings Mountain resident Hannah Hanline reached out to WBTV after hearing the doctor she had been seeing regularly for check-ups had his license suspended.

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Documents filed by the North Carolina Medical Board said the board possesses information that Dr. Michael Smith of Mt. Holly Family Practice has "on at least two occasions… engaged in sexual acts, sexual contact and/or vaginal intercourse with patients in an examination room at his practice."

Hanline told WBTV that she had been in Smith's office multiple times and had experienced a situation where the doctor inappropriately touched her.

"He was wrong and I trusted him. He's been my family doctor you know," said Hanline.

She said the alleged incident took place during an appointment a couple of months ago.  Hanline said she had been experiencing pain under her rib cage and wanted to see a doctor about it.

She said Smith examined her without a nurse being in the room. Hanline claims the doctor first checked her breathing and then felt her chest.

"He reaches from the top of my dress, then starts touching my breast then starts sliding his hand down my body," described Hanline.

She said she then told the doctor he was examining the wrong part of her body. She thinks Smith touched her chest on purpose.

"He went for my breast first. That's not where my problem lied. My problem lied down here. I was having pain in my stomach area and he was touching my breast," Hanline said.

She told WBTV she has battled opiate addiction and said Wednesday evening was her first time speaking out about the negative experience with the doctor.

"I didn't want to tell anybody because nobody would believe me. I'm there getting treated for addiction. I didn't think anybody would believe me if I came out and said it," explained Hanline.

She said the experience has left a lasting impact on her and will change the way she looks at doctors.

"I can never trust another doctor," said Hanline. "I can never be alone with a doctor again and be able to trust them."

Hanline admitted that she had continued to see Dr. Smith after the alleged incident stating that she needed the medication she was being prescribed for her addiction. However, she said she would only see the doctor if a nurse was in the room with them.

Smith has not been charged for a crime.

WBTV's calls to Smith's office for comment on the situation have not been answered.

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