Dr. Romelito Delacruz, a Grande Prairie doctor, has been suspended and criminally charged for allegedly sexually assaulting two female patients.
In findings released Wednesday by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, Delacruz - an ear, nose and throat specialist - is alleged to have assaulted two patients by "inappropriately examining" the patient's labia and buttocks.
The first patient saw Delacruz in June 2008 for a second opinion regarding symptoms she developed after a chin implant, the college said in its findings.
"During the appointment, she discussed other cosmetic concerns with Dr. Delacruz including issues related to a previous breast implant," the college report states.
"She alleged Dr. Delacruz fondled her breasts then asked her to pull down her jeans and panties and proceeded to touch her buttocks and labia while she was in the standing position."
The second patient was a 16-year-old who was referred to Delacruz for a tonsillectomy, the report states.
"During the appointment, the patient asked Dr. Delacruz about bumps on her lower legs (shins) because she had heard these bumps may be related to a throat infection," the college states.
"She alleged Dr. Delacruz unnecessarily exposed and examined her breasts. She also alleged Dr. Delacruz touched her buttocks and labia without gloves while she was in the standing position when there was no medical reason for him to do
The college has suspended Delacruz for six months.
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Dr. Romelito Delacruz was found guilty by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta of inappropriately examining patients. The following is a list of penalties handed to the doctor.
A. Dr. Delacruz will be suspended for six months.
B. Dr. Delacruz must complete a boundaries course at his own cost;
C. Dr. Delacruz must pay for, attend, and fully cooperate in a multidisciplinary assessment
If the assessment finds Dr. Delacruz unfit to practice medicine, Dr. Delacruz’s practice permit (licence) will be suspended immediately. It will remain suspended, even if the six month suspension in paragraph a. is expired, until Dr. Delacruz has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Registrar that he is fit to return to the practice of medicine;
If the assessment recommends Dr. Delacruz should have one or more conditions imposed on his practice permit, the Registrar will impose those condition(s).
D. Dr. Delacruz will complete any treatment program recommended by the assessment. The nature, scope, and duration of the treatment should be acceptable to the Registrar, in consultation with the assessing physician;
E. Notwithstanding any other term of the Order, Dr. Delacruz may see female patients over the age of 14 years only in the presence of a chaperone who has successfully completed the chaperone training course offered by MacEwan University. Female patients under the age of 14 years must be seen in the presence of a parent, guardian, or trained chaperone. These conditions will remain in place until changed by the Registrar or College Council;
F. Dr. Delacruz must pay 80 per cent of the costs of the College’s investigation and the hearings before the Investigating Committee/Hearing Tribunal and College Council. Payment of $61,314.69 is due by December 15, 2012;
G. Dr. Delacruz will, at his own cost, enter into a continuing care agreement with the College. This agreement requires his participation in the College’s After Care Program for boundary violators for a minimum of five years.
Delacruz has also been charged by police.
"As a result of a lengthy investigation, Grande Prairie RCMP have charged Doctor Romelito Delacruz with three counts of sexual assault," said RCMP Cpl. Roy Kennedy.
"These incidents occurred.. between 2005 and 2010."
According to the college, Delacruz will also have to, among other things, complete a boundaries course, undergo a disciplinary assessment and undergo treatment, all at his own expense.
Delacruz's suspension may be extended if his assessment shows that after that time he is still not fit to return to his duties, the college said.