San Diego

Patient: Doctor Placed Appointment Card on My Breasts, Fondled and Groped Me

Judge rules patient's complaints are believable and won't reinstate doctor's medical license

A local psychiatrist allegedly placed a female patient’s appointment card on her breast, then kissed and fondled her, despite the woman’s efforts to stop him.

Those new details about Dr. Leon Fajerman’s alleged misconduct with a 40-year-old patient are contained in a ruling by an Administrative Law Judge, who said the 74-year-old Chula Vista doctor “took advantage of [the patient’s] vulnerability and dependence on him for treatment of her psychiatric condition.”

Click here to read the judge’s ruling.

Judge Abraham Levy suspended Fajerman's license on July 27. Fajerman and his attorney challenged the suspension at an August 14 hearing. Fajerman denied the woman's allegations and the Medical Board of California’s claim he acted as a "sexual predator."

The evidence against Fajerman includes two tape-recorded phone calls the patient had with Fajerman, after the October 19, 2016, incident in his office. Those calls were arranged by local law enforcement after the woman filed a complaint with the Chula Vista Police Department. To protect her privacy, the woman is identified by the initials "S.D." in the court documents.

In a declaration filed with the court, S.D. claimed Fajerman "... began rubbing her breasts and telling her that it felt good.” According to the documents, S.D. protested "it did not feel good and pulled away from him...He kissed her on the lips and on the neck. Further, Dr. Fajerman placed his hand under S.D.'s dress and touched her vagina... He suggested she return the next week when nobody would be in his office, in order to have sex."

A transcript of those phone calls reveal that when S.D. confronted Fajerman about his behavior and told him she was bothered by it, Fajerman insisted "To my knowledge, nothing really happened." According to the transcript, S.D. interrupted him and insisted he had, in fact, touched her inappropriately, Fajerman responded: "...and you did not like it?"

At another point in the tape-recorded conversation, Fajerman allegedly said, "When you like something, you go for it, no? You like dessert, you get dessert."

Despite the fact that Fajerman "vigorously disputes that he engaged in the conduct,” Judge Levy concluded Fajerman "...displayed a lack of sound judgement, a callous disregard for S.D.'s concerns and well-being, and a belief that their was nothing wrong with his behavior."

Judge Levy decided that allowing Fajerman to resume seeing patients, even with a prohibition against treating adult females, would "endanger the public health, safety and welfare."

Fajerman’s attorney, Bob Frank, told NBC 7 Investigates his client “looks forward to a full evidentiary hearing on the claims of this patient.” Frank said he will present evidence and witnesses that will “discredit” S.D’s allegations, and correct what he says are improperly translated versions of the tape-recorded phone calls between Fajerman and his former patient.

Frank said that hearing could be held sometime in September.

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.

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