A North County doctor’s medical license has been suspended after accusations of sexual misconduct targeting female patients.
Dr. Manuel Tanguma III has resigned from Graybill Medical Group, according to the company. He worked out of their San Marcos office on Rancheros Drive between September 2008 and November 2015, they said.
In a civil complaint filed in May, one of his former patients accused him of asking sexually inappropriate questions about her sex and dating life.
According to court documents, after a number of doctor visits, Tanguma “kissed her for what felt like ten minutes. When Tanguma stopped kissing [the patient], he unzipped his pants and exposed [himself] to her and commented ‘Look what you do to me. Touch it.’ [The patient] froze and was horrified.”
In a complaint to the California Medical Board, another former patient accused Tanguma of inappropriately touching her breast, lingering over a scar on her stomach and kissing her cheek.
Both women said the incidents happened during private doctor visits with Tanguma in 2013.
NBC 7 spoke to Tanguma over the phone. He did not want to comment on the allegations or his license being suspended and referred us to his attorney.
In a statement, his attorney Robert Frank wrote, “Tanguma is a kind, generous and caring physician who has been ambushed by the unfounded complaints of several former female patients, one of whom attempted to extort money from the medical clinic at which he worked and who went public about her untruthful accusations after her extortion attempt was rebuffed by the clinic.”
Frank said the extortion involved the patient and her daughter threatening to sue the practice and asking for money. Jessica Pride, the attorney representing that woman, said the extortion claim is without merit.
Pride also represents several other women who have accused Tanguma of similar misconduct. As of Tuesday, one has filed a civil claim. Pride said she plans to file the rest by the end of the week.
Pride explained her clients are “emotionally traumatized. They lost their faith in doctors. They don’t trust male practitioners."
“This is definitely been a breach in their confidence and trust because they place doctors in a special position of trust. When going to get help for medical treatment, they expected the doctor to act professionally,” she said.
Pride believes there are more victims.
“Dr. Tanguma displayed a very confident persona that in my opinion is indicative that he’s a serial offender,” she said.
Pride said her clients are waiting for the District Attorney’s office to file criminal charges. As of Tuesday, no criminal charges were filed.
Tanguma’s attorney acknowledged his client’s license was recently suspended and added, “without Dr. Tanguma at that time having had the chance to present any counter evidence. He looks forward to clearing the air about the untruthful accusations.
Also named in the civil complaint is Tanguma’s former employer, Graybill Medical Group.
In a statement, the company told NBC 7, “The allegations reported recently are very disturbing to us. We strive to provide all of our patients with a safe environment, and we empathize with any patient who feels his or her trust may have been violated. We will provide our full assistance and cooperation to the California Medical Board in its investigations.”