Savannah Morning News
Savannah psychiatrist held on federal sex-for-drugs charges
January 26, 2013
By Jan Skutch
Dr. William Ellien, 58, was arrested on Wednesday on a federal complaint for illegally distributing controlled substances for no legitimate medical reason.
U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith, during an initial appearance in Statesboro, ordered Ellien temporarily detained pending a hearing on Thursday, officials said.
According to the affidavit submitted by federal Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Douglas Kahn, “a number of witnesses” told investigators they had sex with Ellien in exchange for drugs.
One witness told investigators she met Ellien at the Holiday Inn Express on Abercorn Street in June “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with him,” the affidavit said.
In exchange, he gave her a prescription for the drug Xanax and cash, the affidavit said.
Agents also determined that Ellien “on more than one occasion booked rooms” at the motel, the affidavit said.
The affidavit indicated Ellien had been under investigation since September.
During an interview on Wednesday, Ellien “admitted to meeting various girls at local strip clubs,” then engaging in sexual acts with them “in exchange for cash and prescriptions,” the affidavit said.
He also admitted the conduct occurred from about 2009 until the end of November 2012 and that the conduct was “unlawful and unethical,” the affidavit said.
In 2011, the Georgia Medical Society named Ellien a health care hero for health care education for conducting or sponsoring activities that have improved the quality of life in our community.
He was a private-practice physician who served as medical director for Memorial Health’s Center for Behavioral Medicine on the campus from 2007 until his contract was terminated in September.