Ex-Air Force doctor convicted of rape may retain Florida medical license
Stars and Stripes June 10, 2011
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A former Kunsan Air Base military doctor convicted of rape in 2008 will be able to practice medicine again in Florida if he complies with a settlement agreement, according to a June 3 decision made by the state’s board of medicine.
Mark Allan Seldes, of Tampa, must complete 300 hours of community service, pay a $10,000 fine, undergo evaluation and complete an education requirement before practicing medicine again, the board ruled in an 8-3 vote.
Seldes, who remains on Florida’s sex offender registry, will then be allowed to practice medicine in government facilities only, according to minutes of a June 3 Fort Lauderdale board meeting.
On Jan. 31, 2008, in South Korea, a military jury found Seldes guilty of rape, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and adultery in connection with the Nov. 4, 2006 attack on a female civilian. He was sentenced to three years’ confinement and dismissal from the service.
The victim had known Seldes for about a week before inviting him to her residence to watch television. She woke up after taking a sleeping pill to find Seldes having sex with her, she testified. Seldes did not testify during the trial.
Seldes also did not show up for his sentencing, prompting a 28-hour manhunt before he was found on base at Kunsan, located on South Korea’s southwest coast. Air Force officials did not charge him for his absence.
“[Seldes’] conviction of rape demonstrates unsound judgment and a lack of respect for the well-being of human beings – the antithesis of that which is required and expected of a licensed physician,” wrote Carol Gregg, assistant general counsel for the Florida Department of Health’s prosecution services, in a Feb. 11 complaint obtained by Stars and Stripes.
Seldes attended the June 3 board meeting with his wife and attorney Kenneth Haber at his table, according to the meeting minutes.
Haber defended Seldes as “a man who made a terrible mistake to engage in a relationship with an individual who was not his wife, and has destroyed his career and has certainly brought dire consequences on his marriage,” according to a CBS Miami online report.
Although objections were raised by a non-physician on the board, the majority accepted Haber’s account.
“In my personal opinion, he has paid his penance,” physician Zach Zachariah said, according to the CBS report.
Seldes’ case preceded that of former Navy doctor Anthony Lenny Velasquez, who was convicted last year at Yokosuka Naval Base of wrongful sexual contact for victimizing his patients. Velasquez, who served seven days in jail before his dismissal, had his California medical certification revoked last month.