cover image Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell

Doc: The Rape of the Town of Lovell

Jack Olsen. Atheneum Books, $19.95 (479pp) ISBN 978-0-689-11959-0

Lovell is a small town in Wyoming whose population is about 50% Mormon; Mormon women are traditionally expected to serve men unquestioningly. Thus, for 25 years John Story, who established his medical practice in Lovell in 1958, was able to molest dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of local women, conducting prolonged pelvic examinations for mere sinus infections and headaches. The examinations customarily concluded with sexual intercourse. Many of the women, incredibly naive about such matters, and virtually reverential toward the doctor, did not realize what was happening to them--and did not resist. The doctor, a pillar of the Baptist Church, enjoyed enormous prestige. This masterful book by the author of Son , as much a searching sociological study as a true-crime narrative, tells what happened in Lovell when these happenings came to light: the community lost its bearings and the doctor was convicted of rape. (June)