Pre-trial proceedings to continue for former UC Berkeley doctor charged with sex crimes

Pre-trial hearings are set to continue March 13 for Robert Kevess, a former UC Berkeley health center doctor of 22 years who was charged in April 2011 with 19 counts of sex crimes against six former patients.

Currently, the case is still in its pre-trial stage — meaning the parties and the court are still sorting through which evidence can be used in the trial. Several pre-trial hearings have taken place at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland between August 2011 and January to investigate the alleged incidents, which court documents claim took place between 2006 and 2011 and involved male student patients between the ages of 18 and 42 at the time.

“I think we’ve been in some discussion concerning resolution, but I don’t believe we’ve reached a resolution yet,” said Robert Beles, Kevess’ attorney, of the proceedings so far. “We’ve had meaningful discussions with the prosecutor.”

The 19 counts of sexual offense accusations outlined in the complaint filed April 27, 2011 claim that some patients were “unconscious of the nature of the act” and that Kevess “fraudulently represented that the touching served a professional purpose” for others.

Kevess resigned from his position at University Health Services on April 14, 2011. He pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment April 28. Bail for Kevess was set at $745,000, which he posted.

According to court documents, should Kevess be convicted of the allegations, he would be required to register as a sex offender for the duration of his lifetime.

In a statement released last April, Claudia Covello, executive director of University Health Services, and Brad Buchman, medical director of University Health Services said that the center’s “primary focus is, as it has always been, on the needs of our patients and former patients, and on steps we can take to prevent anything remotely similar from ever happening again.”

Staff writer Veronica Reynolds contributed to this report.