Former physician agrees to plea deal for assaults

Sentencing hearing set for June 24

PORT ANGELES — Josiah Hill, the Olympic Medical Center emergency room physician accused of sexually assaulting six female patients, has accepted a negotiated plea deal and will forego a jury trial.

Hill’s attorney, Jared Ausserer, and deputy prosecuting attorney Matthew Roberson told Judge Simon Barnhart at a motion hearing in Clallam County Superior Court on Friday the two sides had agreed to changing the original seven felony counts of indecent liberties by a healthcare provider and one special allegation of a vulnerable victim count to six counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, a gross misdemeanor.

Hill was employed by Peninsula Emergency Services, OMC’s former emergency room service provider, when the allegations against him were made.

Hill previously pleaded not guilty and posted $200,000 bail. He has been under home electronic monitoring and appeared at Friday’s hearing via Zoom.

The parties will appear June 24 before Barnhart for a plea and sentencing hearing.

Outside of the courtroom, Ausserer said Hill had been very reluctant to accept the state’s offer, but he agreed because of the consequences should he not prevail at trial.

“We were prepared to present evidence that all of his actions were actually consistent with medical practice,” Ausserer said. “My client has to allow a jury to decide if in fact this was assault or medical treatment and if this is too much of a risk for him. In my opinion, it was. Go to trial and lose, then you’re looking at being a felon sex offender.”

A representative from the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

Had Hill been found guilty on all felony counts, there was a possibility he could spend the rest of his life in prison. The gross misdemeanor charges, on the other hand, have a standard range of zero to 364 days in custody.

Ausserer said they would argue against any prison time.

“I think the state is going to be recommending 180 days in custody and we’ll be arguing for nothing because he’s been on GPS monitoring for the duration of his release and there have been no violations,” Ausserer said.

Ausserer said one of Hill’s motivations for agreeing to the plea was a desire to resume practicing medicine. But first he would need to restore his medical license, which was suspended by the state Department of Health in 2022.

“He’s got to go through this rehabilitative course before he can be readmitted, and so he’s already agreed that he’s going to do that,” Ausserer said. “One of the things that he said was, ‘Look, I want to be exonerated so that I can continue to practice medicine.’ That was his real goal in going to trial.”

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at paula.hunt@peninsulanews.us.

More in Crime

Sequim man charged with six counts of child rape

A Sequim man is facing six counts of third-degree… Continue reading

Alleged bank robber shot by police is identified

A man who allegedly attempted to rob a bank… Continue reading

Woman gets 20 years for murder

Court adds four months for max penalty

Former ER physician still faces civil trial

Hill pleaded guilty to lesser charges Friday

Former physician agrees to plea deal for assaults

Sentencing hearing set for June 24

Clallam Bay man sentenced to 41 years for June 2023 murder

Ojeda-Ibarra pleaded guilty in December

Trial dates set in Sequim home invasion case

Sheriff’s office says actions tied to drug trafficking

Mental health court sought in bus case

Woman charged with theft of a transit vehicle

Port Angeles man faces six felonies for child sex offenses

Documents: Communication continued after protection order served

Arraignment set for Forks man charged with assault

Infant had brain bleed, fractured femur and ribs, sheriff’s office says

Girl released from hospital after being struck by bullet

Report: Father pointed gun and pulled trigger