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Senator pleads guilty to inappropriately touching nurse

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Posted at 8:26 PM, Feb 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 20:26:48-05

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state senator pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor battery after a nurse practitioner said he inappropriately touched her during an exam.

Sen. John Bizon, a Battle Creek Republican, faces up to 93 days in jail when he is sentenced at a later date.

The incident occurred Aug. 14 at After Hours Express, an urgent care facility in Marshall.

The nurse said Bizon, a 70-year-old physician, questioned her guidance on how to treat his COVID-19 symptoms. As she talked about the recommended over-the-counter medicine, he pulled her closer, squeezed her waist with a cupping motion and told her he was an otolaryngologist, according to the police report. Bizon, who became angry when she refused to prescribe a different medication he wanted, repeatedly said he was disappointed in her and left.

“Without question, this entire situation is regrettable. As a doctor who has spent decades caring for those in need, I am deeply distressed that I unintentionally caused someone to feel unsafe,” Bizon said in a written statement. “I was very sick at the time of the incident and did not behave as I normally would have. Nevertheless, I take this situation very seriously and have learned from it.”

RELATED: Michigan state senator charged with assault of a nurse

The statement said Bizon was “seriously ill” with COVID-19 at the time and ultimately received antibody drugs, which are intended to head off severe disease and death.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said Bizon does not face legislative discipline.

“With this misdemeanor being addressed by the court and Sen. Bizon taking responsibility for his actions, I do not plan to take further action at this time,” he said.

A Barry County prosecutor handled the case because Calhoun County’s prosecuting attorney recused himself.

Bizon is the third state lawmaker to plead guilty to a crime this term. Democratic Rep. Jewell Jones of Inkster pleaded guilty Wednesday to drunken driving, resisting police and other charges. Republican Rep. Bryan Posthumus of Kent County’s Cannon Township pleaded guilty to drunken driving in July and was sentenced to 15 days in jail.

State and Lansing police currently are investigating a sexual assault complaint that was lodged against Republican former House Speaker Lee Chatfield by one of his sister-in-laws.