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4 men file lawsuit against former Little Rock doctor



Little Rock, Arkansas – On Wednesday, a lawsuit has been filed by four men who were who claimed they were sexually molested as children by a former Little Rock pediatrician.

The men said they were sexually assaulted by Dr. James “Darnell” Nesmith, who was a doctor at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Adolescent Clinic in the late 1990s and 2010s, according to a news release from the office of Attorney Josh Gillispie.

It was around that time three of the men alleged Dr. Nesmith sexually molested them during routine examinations.

According to official documents, Nesmith had been a practicing pediatrician in central Arkansas for approximately 25 years until he was arrested and later convicted in 2018 of molesting boys from his Little Rock church, Covenant Presbyterian.

There, Nesmith served as a deacon, youth director, and Boy Scouts troop leader. The fourth victim of this case was a member of the church. “A serial child molester who works as a pediatrician during the week and serves as a youth director at the church on weekends; that is truly the nightmare scenario,” Attorney Gillispie said. “Nesmith’s true victim number will likely never be known, but the prevailing research and statistics on this type of serial predator would suggest it’s over 100, particularly given the unique access to children Dr. Nesmith enjoyed as a pediatrician for 25 years.”

The release also indicates the lawsuit is also notable as one of the first to be filed under the two-year “lookback window” law enacted under the passage of the Justice for Vulnerable Victims of Sexual Abuse Act of 2021. The law allows victims of sexual abuse to bring claims that would otherwise have expired due to the statute of limitations against perpetrators, other individuals, private organizations, and the government.

“My clients are among many sexual abuse survivors who now have a chance to seek justice thanks to the two-year revival window,” Gillispie said. “Given the nature of sexual abuse and the related trauma, it often takes years before survivors realize the impact the abuse had on them. Finally, survivors in Arkansas have their chance. Now serial predators like Dr. Nesmith will no longer be able to hide behind outdated statutes of limitations to avoid justice.”