September 20, 2017 - 6:44 pm
Updated September 21, 2017 - 9:22 am
Dr. Jorge Burgos of North Las Vegas, sentenced in July to three years of probation and seven days in jail for gross lewdness involving female patients, can no longer treat Medicare and Medicaid patients.
The limit on his practice was announced Wednesday by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who placed Burgos on a federal exclusion list that bars him from treating patients on government-supported health care.
In a statement, Laxalt said his office looks for ways “to protect our communities from those that would compromise our safety and well-being.”
The attorney general also noted that doctors entrusted with the care of patients “are held to certain ethical standards.”
Burgos, who was accused of groping and kissing female patients, did not respond to a request for comment.
The doctor pleaded guilty in July to three misdemeanor counts of lewdness under a plea bargain and was sentenced to probation and a week in jail. He also was required to register as a sex offender, complete a sex offender treatment program, take a four-hour online course on victim empathy and attend at least 30 therapy sessions.
The verdict did not affect his medical license, but the Nevada State Medical Board said at the time that it was weighing whether he would be allowed to continue to practice medicine in the state without restrictions.
The board is continuing to investigate. On Wednesday, its website showed that a complaint has been filed against Burgos but showed no restrictions on his active license.
The complaint notes “conviction of a sexually related crime” and “conviction of an offense involving moral turpitude.” It also said that Burgos engaged in conduct “that brings the medical profession into disrepute.”
Edward Cousineau, the board’s executive director, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Agreement with board
Crane Pomerantz, the attorney who represented Burgos, disclosed Wednesday that “under a written agreement with the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners, Burgos can only treat a female patient with a female monitor present.”
According to Pomerantz, the notice of the agreement need not be posted where patients can see it.
Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Jobe said the agreement between Burgos and the board has no bearing on his probation. Even if he didn’t have a female monitor watching him treat a woman, that wouldn’t be a violation of his probation.
“His agreement with the board is strictly with the board,” she said.
Pomerantz said the agreement was entered into shortly after Burgos was first charged with a crime in September 2016.
“We entered into to it to earn back the board’s trust,” he said.
The attorney said he wouldn’t characterize the agreement as either formal or informal but said it was entered into at the request of the board.
Burgos originally faced 16 counts of open and gross lewdness but pleaded guilty to three in court.
More punishment expected
Pomerantz said he also expects further punishment against his client by the board.
“The board has been tough but fair,” he said. “We expect some further action to be forthcoming.”
Victims of the doctor who had testified in court did not think the court punishment was tough or fair.
“I just hope nothing worse happens to anybody, ” a 34-year-old woman who believed Burgos no longer should be able to practice medicine said after his sentencing.
One woman said it forever changed the way she looks at the medical profession.
“I will not go to a male doctor anymore.”
Contact Paul Harasim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5273. Follow @paulharasim on Twitter.