New Mexico Psychiatrist Mark Beale Gets 7 Years Prison for Sex Crimes against Patients

March 6, 2023

LAS CRUCES - A former psychiatrist accused of drugging, raping and molesting several of his patients was sentenced to seven years in prison on Tuesday.

Mark Beale, 74, pleaded no contest to two counts of felony criminal sexual penetration in the third degree, 12 counts of misdemeanor criminal sexual contact, and two counts of petty misdemeanor battery, according to a plea and disposition agreement.

When pleading no contest, a person is not admitting to the crimes they're accused of. Instead, they're conceding that a reasonable jury would probably find them guilty if the case went to trial.

Beale was arrested in April 2019 after a half dozen of his patients, all women, ranging in age from 21 to 60, came forward with allegations of rape, harassment or abuse that happened in his office at Wyatt Drive, or in one case, at a woman's home.

In addition to the sexual assault charges Beale faced in the 3rd Judicial District Court, Beale pleaded no contest to federal charges of unlawful dispensing and distributing of a schedule II controlled substance in U.S. District Court. Many of the same women who alleged Beale sexually assaulted them told police that Beale provided them medication they didn't need.

While sentencing hearings — which feature character testimony and victim impact statements — are often emotional, Beale's hearing was especially tense. Statements from patients who said Beale raped them were juxtaposed with statements from patients who said he healed them.

One of Beale's patients who supported him told the court he thought the patients testifying against Beale should "get the shaft" and accused them of lying.

Other supporters of Beale, including his family and fellow church members, said that the allegations were hard to believe and that the woman who accused Beale of sexual assault conspired against the psychiatrist to ruin his life. Beale's supporters did not present any evidence for those claims.

All of the women who testified against Beale said that his actions haunt them. Some said that they suffer from severe post-traumatic stress disorder, others said they've lost the ability to trust doctors and therapists, and others said they wished that Beale would experience a fraction of the pain he caused them.

Another woman said that she moved to New Mexico to "get her life back together," she said. A state office recommended Beale to the woman and, trusting that system, she started seeing him.

"I went to him for help because my whole life I've been trying to get over a man taking advantage of me," she said. "Mark Beale, you cannot treat women this way."

At the end of her testimony, the woman told Beale that she forgave him.

About 7 percent of sexual assault claims made by adults are fabricated, according to a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Violence Against Woman.

At his lawyer's request, Beale was given the last word. Beale's testimony meandered from his own mental health to his time in Vietnam to his belief that he would be unable to survive in prison.

Ultimately, 3rd Judicial District Judge Douglas Driggers accepted the seven-year sentence agreed to by prosecutors and Beale's attorney. Beale's sentence for his federal charges overlaps with his sentence in New Mexico.

Source: Justin Garcia,  “'You cannot treat women this way.' Patients testify against Las Cruces psychiatrist before judge deals sentence,” Las Cruces Sun-News, March 29, 2022. URL:   


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