The former Benton County doctor who was sought by police after allegedly taking nude photographs of several patients has been arrested and appeared Thursday in front of a judge in eastern Arkansas, according to prosecutors.
Paul Becton, 68, appeared in front of a Greene County District Court judge for a bond hearing Thursday afternoon. He was arrested Wednesday night at a motel in Newport, about 65 miles from Paragould, the site of his current medical practice, according to Second Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington’s office.
Becton's bond was set at $500,000, according to the Greene County Sheriff's Office. He faces five counts of video voyeurism, a Class D felony.
Arkansas State Police began investigating Becton following allegations he took nude photographs of a female patient during an OBGYN examination without her consent, Ellington said.
“The patient became suspicious after the examination that she may have been photographed and reported her concern to the Paragould Police Department,” according to the prosecutor’s statement.
The patient told police she was being examined by Becton on April 1 when he took out his cell phone and took photographs of her pubic area and buttocks, according to an arrest warrant.
State police seized Becton's phone April 10 and found "numerous images of nude females that appear to have been taken in a medical office during medical examinations," the warrant states.
Police conferred with the prosecutor's office and determined the patients had their photographs taken without their knowledge or consent, according to the arrest warrant.
Becton practiced medicine in Rogers and Bentonville from 1984 to 2007, including at the Rogers Clinic For Women and Pinnacle Women’s Healthcare, Inc., in Rogers, according to Becton’s website.
Tiffany Norwood was delivered by Becton and was a patient of his for nearly six years when he worked in Benton County.
"He was really prestigious," she said. "He was known for being one of the best doctors in the area."
Norwood said a nurse was always in the room with Becton during her OBGYN examinations, so it's hard for her to believe her former doctor could do something like this.
"There was always one member of his staff in the room," she said. "Somebody was always there, and there always seemed to be a good relationship with everybody I met there."
But Becton could now face up to 30 years in prison. Norwood said she will stand by her doctor, until he is convicted of any wrongdoing.
"I just did not see it coming from him," she said. "He could be guilty for all I know. I just do not feel like anybody should judge somebody until they know the whole story."
The prosecutor said the Arkansas Medical Board has been notified of the allegation, and the doctor has not seen any patients this week.