San Diego

Local Doctor Accused of ‘Groping' Female Patient

Judge says psychiatrist is a danger to public health and safety; Suspends His License

A local psychiatrist accused of groping and having "sexual contact" with a female patient had his license suspended by an administrative law judge who said the doctor is a danger "to public health, safety, and welfare."

Doctor Leon Fajerman was educated in Argentina and has practiced medicine in San Diego for almost 40 years but last October.

According to the state medical board, Dr. Fajerman violated one of his profession’s most important rules of conduct.

According to the suspension order, at the end of an appointment, Fajerman allegedly sexually assaulted a patient, identified by the initials "S.D." to protect her privacy. Court records show the alleged victim was a patient of Fajerman's for almost ten years.

The woman reportedly told Fajerman what he did was "not right and she needed to leave". According to the document, Fajerman told the patient to "return next week, when no one was in the office in order to have sex."

Investigators said the woman contacted law enforcement and agreed to record two phone conversations with Fajerman, on December 22, 2016, and January 6.

A transcript of those conversations, cited in the judge’s order, reveals Fajerman "...admitted that he engaged in sexual misconduct with S.D." and told her that "when you like something, you go for it." But Fajerman also allegedly told the woman "... it was not like someone attacked her, or (that) he made her engage in the conduct with him."

The administrative law judge heard the evidence July 27 and issued the interim suspension order the next day.

NBC 7 Investigates has learned these suspensions are rare.

According to statistics gathered by the Medical Board of California, only 37 of the state’s 111,000 physicians were ordered to immediately stop practice in fiscal year 2015-16. By comparison, 299 doctors were allowed to keep working, while allegations of negligence or wrongdoing against them worked their way through the legal system.

Another hearing related to the suspension order is scheduled for Aug. 14, at the state office of administrative hearings. The state court website does not show any felony criminal charges against Fajerman, but it is unclear whether or not the doctor is facing misdemeanor or other criminal charges.

Fajerman did not return two phone messages seeking a response to the allegations and license suspension.

But his attorney, Robert Frank, told NBC 7 Investigates that the judge's order was "...issued without any consideration of evidence from Dr. Fajerman, nor any opporutnity for Dr. Fajerman to present his side of the story."

The defense attorney said the legal process is "...slanted heavily in favor of the (Medical Board) and complaining patients whose stories cannot be tested for their truthfulness at these one-sided hearings. We look forward to (presenting) Dr. Fajerman's side of the story at next month's scheduled hearing, in which the judge can reconsider and rescind his order."

NBC 7 Investigates is reporting on medical professionals accused by the public and the California Medical Board of wrongdoing in order to bring information to the public and increase transparency of medical practices in the San Diego region. Currently, this information is reported by the Medical Board on its website.

Medical professionals are not required to disclose this information to their patients.

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