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Doctors Behaving Badly: Plastic surgeon skips one court date too many

Doctors Behaving Badly: Plastic surgeon skips one court date too many

Picture of William Heisel

Dr. Scott Takasugi finally ran out of excuses.

The Sacramento plastic surgeon was accused of molesting his patients, some of whom were as young as 12.

His patients said that they came in for breast enhancements or reductions, yet Takasugi told them to take all their clothes off. Then he touched and photographed them. To explain this behavior, Takasugi told the Sacramento Bee:

What I did was misconstrued medical procedures.

He was arrested in 2006. The Sacramento County District Attorney charged him with 21 felony counts, including sexual assault. In a plea deal, Takasugi pleaded "no contest" to two counts of sexual exploitation in June 2009. Explaining his plea, Takasugi said:

They are not penal code violations. They are business and professions code violations. But they're not like a violent rape, things like that.

A sentencing date was set in November 2009, but Takasugi did not show up. He blamed the death of his father, a federal judge who passed away at 87.

Another sentencing date was set for November 2009. Again, Takasugi did not show up. This time, he said he had ended up in a psychiatric ward and did not know how.

I'm trying to figure that out myself. I just woke up a couple hours ago, and I'm in a room here with a bunch of strange people.

For the next three years, Takasugi could find himself with some very strange people. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest and sentenced him to three years and eight months in prison.

Know your doctor: The Medical Board of California took away Takasugi's license in August 2009. The board's formal accusation against Takasugi details extremely bizarre behavior, including telling one patient to get on all fours. He kept thousands of photographs of his patients, too. Someone in that office had to know what was happening. If you are on the trail of a bad doctor, talk with people who work in his office, find out who left (or was fired) and track them down.

Comments

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I've known Scott since kindergarten (1958-59) at Harrington Elementary School in Oxnard California all the way through High School. He went to collage and I went into the Air Force. Sorry to hear of his misdeeds.

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