A court in Michigan has delayed the trial of a doctor who is charged with child abuse at a missionary camp in Bangladesh, to determine whether the octogenarian is competent to stand trial.
Ottawa County Circuit Court is yet to set a new date for the trial of Dr Donn Ketcham, 87, who is charged with child molestation that took place decades ago.
His victims expressed frustration as the case is being dragged too long to start the trial, reports local Wood TV 8 channel in its Target 8 show.
“It felt like maybe something was finally going to happen to him because I knew there was nothing we could do,” said Sheryl Marshall, listed as one of Ketcham’s victims in Bangladesh.
“We’ve gotten subpoenaed five different times and every time we get it in our minds that we’re going to go to this trial, we get a call or letter saying they’ve postponed it again,” she told Target 8, adding “It’s very difficult.”
Sheryl is among several women from the missionary camp in Bangladesh who are listed as witnesses in the local case — to help prove the abuse is part of a pattern.
Much of the abuse happened under the guise of medicine — physical exams that victims and investigators say went way too far.
The Ketcham story is detailed in a 280-page report released by the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism or ABWE.
The highly critical report details years of alleged sexual abuse by Ketcham — 18 children and five women, all missionaries or missionary children, are listed as victims — all while he served in Bangladesh for ABWE through the 1980s.
The women identified as sexual assault victims of a former missionary doctor decades ago in Bangladesh say they never got their justice.
But it all changed when one of his victims came forward to report that the doctor molested her as a child in the camp in Bangladesh, Wood TV 8 reported.
The victim, now 24, testified it happened in the late 1990s at Ketcham's office in Allendale. She said it happened while her mother was in the room.
Ketchan was charged on Dec 19, 2016, with first-degree sexual assault against a girl who was 4 or 5 years old.
The victim reported it first in 2011.
The victims said they were the children of missionaries molested under the guise of medicine in the 1980s.
“A lot of bad memories,” Sheryl told Target 8 investigation last year. “I remember my mom sitting in the corner of the room often and he would have his back to her, doing things that he shouldn’t do.”
“The girl that is bringing charges needs backup, she needs to know she’s not alone, that there were others that went through the exact same thing,” she said. “I think it’s important. It’s hard, but it’s important.”
But the case in Ottawa County Circuit Court has been delayed repeatedly. The latest delay is to determine if Ketcham is competent to stand trial, the report said.
“It’s both anger and frustration. I’m scared. It’s scary to think about testifying, so you try to prepare yourself, and then it doesn’t happen, so,” Sheryl said.
Still, she said she wants to face Ketcham, the doctor from the city of Wyoming before he has to answer to God.
“Too many people need justice,” she said.
Ketcham has pleaded not guilty in the local case.
Court records show he was to face a two-day trial later this month, but that has been delayed.
No new date has been set.
Michigan doctor faces trial on charges of child abuse in Baptist missionary camp in Bangladesh News Desk, bdnews24.com 2017-12-2
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