LEOMINSTER -- Sitting in the lobby of HealthAlliance Hospital's Entrance D, Anne LeCuyer shifted uncomfortably, but only for a moment.

"What's really sad is that I blame myself. Did I dress provocatively?" she said, pausing briefly to adjust her sweater. She glanced to a nearby wall, where a glossy framed plaque greets visitors entering the hospital with the name Dr. Richard Hawkins.

"Did I give the impression that it was OK for him to do that?" she said. "When the 'Me Too' movement came about, I realized I didn't do a single thing wrong. He's the one who did it, not me."

The last time LeCuyer's story was told in a newspaper, she was only referred to as Patient B.

That was the pseudonym used to describe her in court after she alleged that her orthopedist, Hawkins, had sexually assaulted her during an appointment in February 2000.

LeCuyer, of Townsend, said she had been dressed in little more than a hospital gown when Hawkins began talking about his "sexual habits" during her examination. Then he groped her and attempted to kiss her.

She planned to report Hawkins' behavior to the police, but chose to wait until after her scheduled surgery to repair a torn meniscus cartilage in her knee. Hawkins was the surgeon assigned to operate on her.

"My primary care doctor said 'You'll be OK because you're not going to be alone in the operating room. There will be many people around,'" LeCuyer said.


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"I still had to go through the surgery because it was already booked and my knee was killing me, but I was petrified the whole time. I didn't want to be put to sleep."

LeCuyer's testimony, along with the testimony of another patient, led to Hawkins being charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 years old. Hawkins, who died in 2016, lost his licenses to practice medicine in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 2005, and subsequently lost his position with HealthAlliance Hospital.

In 2006, the state amended the charges and he pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and battery and was ordered to serve one year of probation.

Despite his criminal charges and loss of licenses, a plaque in Hawkins' honor remains on display in the lobby of Entrance D at HealthAlliance for his philanthropic support of the hospital's capital campaign from 1999 to 2001.

"I can't even look at it. If I had a screwdriver, I'd take the thing down myself," LeCuyer said. "I don't think there should be any kind of memorial in the hospital for him, or anyone else who is a sexual predator."

LeCuyer first reached out to hospital administration last month about taking the plaque down and was told the issue would be taken under advisement.

When contacted by the Sentinel & Enterprise about what might happen to the plaque, hospital spokeswoman Kelli Rooney said in a statement: "It's the policy of UMass Memorial Health Care and HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital to provide and maintain a culture characterized by integrity, responsible behavior, and a commitment to the highest legal and ethical standards. It is our unequivocal responsibility to provide fair, non-judgmental and consistent care and service to our patients, their families, visitors, and colleagues. We intend to remove the donor plaque in question from the public lobby and it will be relocated to a more appropriate setting."

Rooney said on Wednesday that the hospital hadn't yet decided where the plaque might be moved to and declined to comment further.

"This isn't taking action," LeCuyer said. "In my opinion, it's not the result that should have happened. It should have been taken down immediately."

Hawkins would go on to work as a commercial truck driver, according to his death notice, after finishing out his probation and LeCuyer said she's now gotten to the point where she finally feels comfortable being alone with a doctor again.

"I have a lot of physical issues and have had a lot of surgeries, but for the longest time after this, I wouldn't go to the doctor's without my husband," she said. "It took a long time for me to be able to go to a doctor without him because I was petrified."

LeCuyer said she remains a regular patient at HealthAlliance Hospital and walks passed Hawkins' plaque every time she enters the building. 

Follow Peter Jasinski on Twitter @PeterJasinski53