A Chula Vista doctor admitted he hugged a female patient, kissed her on the cheek, and may have “touched or grazed her breast.”
But in new documents filed with a state administrative law court, Dr. Leon Fajerman strongly denied the woman’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her at the end of a psychotherapy session last October.
"I do know that I did not sexually attack or force myself upon her in any way, ever," Fajerman wrote in a sworn declaration. "I do know that I did not ask her to return later that day or the next so that I could have sexual intercourse with her, as she claims."
During an hour-long hearing Monday morning, Fajerman’s attorney repeatedly questioned the patient’s credibility.
"Her comments were provocative and unusual, and there were a lot of unclear statements," attorney Bob Frank said of two tapes recorded conversations in which Fajerman allegedly admitted engaging in sexual misconduct with the woman, and told her "...when you like something, you go for it."
Those secretly-recorded conversations, done at the request of law enforcement after the woman reported the alleged assault, persuaded Administrative Law Judge Abraham Levy to take the unusual step of suspending Fajerman’s license on July 28.
Documents filed for Monday’s hearing also revealed that Fajerman recently completed an ethics course in "professional boundaries," in an effort to resume treating patients.
"I fully expect this course will refresh my knowledge of my duties as a physician when interacting with and treating patients," Fajerman explained in his declaration.
No testimony was taken during the hearing, and Fajerman and family members quickly left the courtroom when an NBC 7 Investigates crew began videotaping the proceeding. Earlier, Fajerman and his attorney ducked into a parking lot to avoid the photographer. They entered the law courts building through a rear door reserved for employees only.
Fajerman attorney Bob Frank argued that no other patients have complained about Fajerman in his 40-year career, nor accused him of misconduct. Fajerman had not been previously cited or punished by the Medical Board of California, and no criminal charges have been filed against him.
"It’s silly not to let him see any patients," his attorney told the judge. "This is a disputed episode that he clearly denies."
Judge Levy discussed a possible compromise, in which Fajerman would be allowed to treat only male patients while his license revocation case works its way through the administrative law system.
But the judge said such a partial restriction would be difficult to enforce.
A written ruling on Fajerman’s request for reinstatement is expected within 15 days.
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.