The Mesa County court system had to settle an unusual matter recently. As it was reported earlier this week, the Colorado-based legal department dealt with a case where Dr. Barry W. King pled guilty to harassment, after reportedly dying a patient’s vagina purple, in what deemed a “joke.” Despite pleading guilty to the crime, the doctor will not be serving jail time as part of his plea, and he’ll be allowed to continue practicing medicine in the state.
Here’s what we know about the late October legal decision. As it was reported by The Daily Sentinel, a former employee came to Dr. Barry W. King in early 2017, when she became worried about her cancer returning. She is a breast cancer survivor, having a double mastectomy performed a few years earlier, and she was worried when she discovered a lesion located in her vagina. She went to Dr. King because her own gynecologist recently retired, and she was looking for another doctor to replace her previous one. The employee believed Dr. King may help, but he only made matters worse.
While Dr. Barry W. King seemed initially concerned about the patient’s safety and well-being, the woman reportedly noticed something unusual when she was finished with her examination with the doctor. First, the doctor asked the patient to have her husband “look at it” once she got home, which the woman found unusual– since Dr. King didn’t know her husband particularly well, and the individual wasn’t a doctor. Then, later that night, when the woman was using the bathroom, she noticed a streak of purple on a piece of toilet paper. The woman recognized it as gentian violet.
The purple dye is typically used to treat yeast infections and thrush. The dye, as far as the patient knew, hadn’t been used in practice for years– which is what lead to her initial confusion. She originally believed that she might’ve missed something during her earlier discussion with Dr. Barry King, and allegedly called that into question when the following day. But Dr. King seemed “really giddy” and the patient reported that “his demeanor was odd.” The doctor later professed that the purple dye was used as a joke for the patient’s husband, which is why he brought him up during their earlier meeting. Needless to say, she was very surprised.
It wasn’t long after that conversation with Dr. Barry W. King that the patient noticed that the doctor was telling a whole bunch of other people about the “joke” he performed, which was in direct violation of the privacy the woman entrusted upon him during this delicate matter. And she became infuriated and embarrassed when she learned that her vagina was dyed purple so that her husband’s genitalia would be the same color if/when they had sex. As she stated,
It wasn’t long after this incident occurred that the police got involved, looking into the matter as potential sexual assault. When the police believed that Dr. Barry W. King didn’t have sexual intentions with the woman, they looked into the matter as a misdemeanor case for harassment. Dr. Barry King is expected to not engage in any more improper behavior for at least the next two years, according to an agreement with Mesa County prosecutor Sally Colloton and defense attorney Kelly Page. Should he engage in any more upsetting actions under his doctor tenure, he could lose his license for good.