LINCOLNTON, N.C. A former Lincoln County doctor has been charged with rape and conspiracy stemming from the alleged sexual assault of a patient 17 years ago.

John E. Marshall, a gynecologist, is also charged with sexual offense by a custodian, following the 1996 incident. He was arrested at his home on Monday. He was in jail late Monday under a $100,000 bond.

Officials said the charges are the result of a yearlong investigation. The victim was a patient of Marshall s and the alleged assault occurred while the victim was being treated by him and another physician who has since died.

Marshall has twice been suspended from practicing medicine, according to the N.C. Medical Board, which licenses doctors and other medical professionals.

Marshall s license was indefinitely suspended in March 2011 after the board found that he improperly touched a nurse and also failed to keep detailed records of treatments. According to the board, a nurse complained in 2009 that Marshall had made inappropriate comments to her in front of a patient, touched and rubbed her stomach with his hands, walked up behind her and rubbed himself against her and followed her from room to room asking her personal questions.

That same year, authorities in Buncombe County notified the board that Marshall had been prescribing drugs to a man who lived two hours away from his practice. The patient s wife was under investigation for having large amounts of drugs prescribed to her over the Internet.

When interviewed, Marshall said patients were referred to him from an Internet service that charged patients and referred them to his Lincoln County practice, which violates North Carolina law. It was unclear late Monday if Marshall was charged with a crime.

Authorities encourage anyone with information about the case to contact the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900.

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