Judge suspends medical license of Ventura County doctor charged with sexual assaults
A judge has suspended the medical license of a Thousand Oaks doctor accused of molesting female patients and employees.
Dr. Barry Lefkovitch had his license suspended Tuesday by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Edward F. Brodie at the urging of the Medical Board of California, according to court documents.
“The mission of the medical board is public protection, and this action reflects the board's ongoing commitment to that mission,” said Linda Whitney, the board’s executive director.
Lefkovitch, 56, was arrested at home Dec. 22 by Thousand Oaks police after a patient, whom investigators have identified only as a woman in her late 20s, alleged that he sexually assaulted her Dec. 13 at his office at Arroyo Oaks Medical Group, according to Det. Jason Robarts.
Lefkovitch was initially charged with three counts of forced sexual penetration, according to court records. Brodie ruled at a Dec. 30 hearing that the doctor could continue practicing but had to be chaperoned by another medical professional when he saw female patients, according to court records.
Based on interviews with those three people, prosecutors filed three additional charges against the doctor: misdemeanor sexual battery, misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a patient and a felony charge of sexual contact with two or more patients.
At his arraignment Tuesday, Lefkovitch pleaded not guilty to all charges, said his attorney, Ronald J. Lewis of Woodland Hills.
Lefkovitch has been licensed for more than 20 years, according to state medical board records.
Lewis had suggested the judge limit Lefkovitch to seeing only male patients Tuesday, but Brodie opted for suspension instead, a "drastic" step, Lewis said. Lefkovitch had expected to see 65 patients during the last two days, Lewis said.
Lewis said investigators "drummed up" women who had extramarital relationships with Lefkovitch in order to charge him with crimes he did not commit.
"We’re prepared to put forth a full defense," Lewis said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 25.
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske