A South Bay psychiatrist who admitted to sexually abusing six female patients avoided a jail sentence Friday, shocking and angering his victims.
Leon Fajerman at first denied allegations he sexually assaulted the women during counseling sessions, but later pleaded guilty in October to felony sexual contact with a patient and misdemeanor sexual battery.
There were eight victims in all involved in incidents between October 2016 and July 2017.
Letters to Judge Frank Devaney written by Fajerman's victims were read aloud in court. In them, the women explained how Fajerman ruined their lives by taking advantage of them at their most vulnerable time.
The letters described how Fajerman had destroyed the victims’ trust in doctors, left them with depression and PTSD, and, as one victim said, “Made my life a living hell”.
A plea bargain allowed Fajerman to avoid a state prison sentence, but he still faced a year in county jail.
On Friday Judge Devaney said Fajerman’s health problems made him a poor candidate for custody and instead put him on house arrest for a year. Fajerman will also have to register as a sex offender for life and is prohibited from trying to contact his victims.
"A person like this, I am positive that I am not the first, I'm not the last,” victim Linda Sanchez told NBC 7. “I imagine there is a slew, a line of other women."
Last September she sued the San Ysidro Health Clinic, one of the county's largest health clinics, claiming it failed to prevent Fajerman from abusing female patients.
NBC 7 Investigates first discovered the allegations of sexual assault against Fajerman in July 2017 when the Medical Board suspended his license.