Sheriff: Macomb County Jail doctor gave candy, tobacco for sex act

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham gives details Friday on allegations of criminal sexual conduct involving a doctor at the county jail.

Mount Clemens — A doctor contracted to work for the Macomb County Jail gave a female inmate candy and tobacco in exchange for a sex act and also inappropriately touched her and two other inmates, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said Friday during a news conference.

The allegations against Dr. Steven Cogswell, 53, of Waterford Township came to light Sept. 16 after jail authorities received a note from an inmate about the alleged acts and an investigation began immediately, Wickersham said. 

The allegations involve a 31-year-old from Sterling Heights, a 29-year-old from Roseville and a 27-year-old inmate from Port Huron, authorities said. 

Friday afternoon Cogswell was arraigned via video conference by 41B Magistrate Ryan Zemke on six counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Zemke ordered Cogswell to be held on a $250,000 bond, cash/surety only. If he posts bail, Zemke said, Cogswell must remain under house arrest and wear a tether. 

Second-degree criminal sexual assault is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. 

Cogswell was seeing inmates at the jail for more than a month under a contract with the jail by a local medical company, Correct Care Solutions, Wickersham said Friday. Company officials declined to comment Friday, citing the ongoing investigation

Dr. Steven Cogswell

Wickersham said the Cogswell's phone was seized and there is video evidence surrounding the allegations on the device. 

The sheriff urged any other inmate who might have similar complaints to come forward.

The doctor's last day at the jail was Sept. 14 and the doctor has been terminated from the contracted company, Wickersham said. 

Cogswell did not have any complaints filed against him, according to the state regulatory agency LARA.

The sheriff said the doctor had pulled a curtain around the area when he performed more intimate examinations with female inmates and by doing so was able to hide the alleged acts from three sheriff's deputies who worked in the jail's medical unit. 

Correct Care Solutions did not have a policy regarding the gender of physicians and other medical personnel providing care and that of the inmate, Wickersham said. Under the contract with the jail, Correct Care Solutions was not required to have nurses in the examinations with the female inmates, a common practice with health providers.

"They (Correct Care Solutions) are working on  draft policy to make sure we’re going to make sure there are other people on those examination rooms,” Wickersham said.

During the examinations "of a sensitive nature," doctors and other medical personnel are allowed to pull a screen and deputies “do not have a  view of what’s going on,” the sheriff said.

"Obviously, I'm not happy this occurred," Wickersham said.

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