War veterans talk openly about alleged sexual abuse at Leavenworth VA

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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- He was a decorated Army officer.

They are Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, who all came home with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and in some cases, physical wounds. The men turned to the Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth for treatment when their paths crossed with Mark Wisner.

Now, the retired Major and former physician assistant at the Leavenworth VA is charged with aggravated sexual battery in Leavenworth County. Prosecutors filed that charge in June, the second sex abuse case filed in Leavenworth County involving veterans treated at the VA. Wisner also faces two misdemeanor counts.

READClick Here or Here to read more about the allegations against Wisner in Leavenworth County.

On top of that he faces at least eight federal lawsuits by veterans who allege he sexually abused them, the most recent filed on July 11, 2016. And more lawsuits are expected, with pending Federal Tort Claims filed by other veterans.

"He went in there, we trusted him, he says 'hey, I'm also a doctor," said Steve, a staff sergeant at Fort Leavenworth.

And that's the similar story of other veterans, who for the first time are sharing their stories and experiences with Wisner. They all allege they were lured into trusting him by easy access to him and prescriptions, and by the fact he was prior service and claimed to know what they were up against.

But they say, over time, exams didn't add up.

"Every time I go see the guy he's like, 'hey, drop your pants,'" claimed Iraqi War veteran Nathan.

Other veterans told FOX 4 similar stories, including alleging Wisner did exams without gloves.

The federal lawsuits filed in Kansas allege the VA knew or should have known of Wisner's inappropriate exams. And in court papers filed in the Leavenworth County cases, Wisner admitted to VA Special Agents that he was "excessive in his genital exams..." and "was not able to stop himself before he touches these young men..." whom he adds, he targeted because they were "attractive."

In a letter to the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, Wisner admitted he was an "impaired practitioner...not capable of patient care..."

He used similar language in a letter surrendering his substitute teacher's license. Both agencies revoked his licenses in February of 2015.

The VA says Wisner resigned.

He has pleaded not guilty in Leavenworth County, and the federal civil lawsuits are pending.

When approached at the Leavenworth County Justice Center before a hearing in late June, Wisner declined to answer questions. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the counts he faces.

The VA declined comment, referring FOX 4's inquiries to statements made at a May news conference when Secretary Robert McDonald was asked about Wisner. He said he was proud leadership quickly removed Wisner from patient care, but would not comment on specific allegations or cases.

Meantime, the veterans filing claims say they're dealing with a battle on the home front they hadn't expected.

Says Jake, a Purple Heart recipient: "We went through so much ourselves overseas... I mean day in and day out nonsense. To come back to this, for real. Is this a real thing happening to all of us right now?"