Nurse accused of long-running prostitution scheme is sued for sexual battery

By: - July 24, 2023 12:17 pm

Over the past 15 years, registered nurse practitioner Carl Markley of Ames (inset) allegedly recruited individuals to participate in sex acts in return for money. Markley ran the Wellness Clinic in Ankeny. (Photo via Canva, with inset photo from Iowa District Court records and logo from the Iowa Board of Nursing)

A Story County woman is suing a nurse practitioner who is criminally charged with pimping and human trafficking in connection with his Ankeny medical practice.

Police and prosecutors allege that for the past 15 years, Carl Markley of Ames, who ran the Wellness Clinic in Ankeny and several other businesses, recruited patients and other individuals to participate in sex acts, disguised as “research,” in exchange for money.

Separately, the Iowa Board of Nursing has alleged that over a period of two years, Markley wrote “numerous prescriptions” for controlled substances and ordered more than 14,000 tablets or capsules of medication from a nonprofit pharmacy that provides indigent people with “unused medications” in single-dose packages. During that same two-year period, the board alleges, Markley asked juvenile employees of his construction company to submit to unnecessary physical evaluations.

In a newly filed lawsuit, a Story County woman identified in court records only as Jane Doe is suing Markley for sexual battery, fraud, negligence and invasion of privacy.

Doe alleges she met Markley through her boyfriend, who worked at one of Markley’s businesses and periodically volunteered to participate in projects intended to help Markley maintain his nursing license or expand his health care credentials. In July 2020, Doe and her boyfriend agreed to participate in a study Markley was conducting into the health of intimate couples, according to the lawsuit. During the couple’s seven or eight visits to the Ankeny clinic, the two allegedly submitted to physical examinations in return for cash payments of $50 to $80.

In April of this year, the lawsuit alleges, Doe was contacted by Ames police and shown an image of herself wearing a hospital gown in an examination room at the clinic. The image was allegedly pulled from a video recording shot by Markley using a hidden camera inside his examination room.

“Markley’s alleged study was merely a fraudulent device he used to lure participants” to the clinic, the lawsuit claims, giving Markley “repeated opportunities to exploit them for his personal sexual gratification.”

Markley has yet to file a response to the lawsuit.

Criminal court records indicate that in March, police executed search warrants at Markley’s home and business and seized several electronic devices, including a clock and pen with hidden cameras in them. On one device, they allegedly found a commercially produced pornographic video depicting actors portraying doctors and patients performing sex acts in a clinical setting. They also claim to have found text messages on Markley’s phone in which he arranged to meet with people for sex-related research inside a storage closet of an apartment building that he owned.

Detectives also reported locating multiple photographic images of individuals that were allegedly taken by covert means inside Markley’s clinic. One of the images is alleged to be of a male, with his genitals exposed, who later confirmed for police that the image was of him at the age of 15 or 16. As a result of those findings, Markley was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.

Several days after that charge was imposed, Story County prosecutors charged Markley with human trafficking and four counts each of pimping, prostitution and invasion of privacy.

Court records indicate investigators have located documents dating back 15 years, to 2008, when Markley allegedly began engaging in commercial sexual activity. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the criminal charges.

Markley recently agreed to surrender his nursing license. No trial dates have been scheduled in the criminal proceedings.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing.