Human trafficking among 16 charges faced by North Carolina hospital chief of staff

Thomas Clayton, MD, chief of staff of Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Murphy, N.C., was arrested and charged with 16 felonies, Blue Ridge Public Radio reported March 28. 

Dr. Clayton, a family medicine physician who has been practicing for more than 30 years, was charged with three counts of human trafficking, four counts of first-degree forcible sexual offense and nine counts of sexual contact or penetration under pretext of medical treatment. 

Dr. Clayton is on administrative leave without pay until further notice, an Erlanger spokesperson told the publication. 

"We are not able to comment at this time since this is a legal matter but will be fully cooperating with law enforcement," the official said in a statement, according to the report.

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