Orange County prosecutors Wednesday charged a physician with a felony count for allegedly fondling a patient.
David Duncan House of Tustin was charged in February with a misdemeanor count each of sexual exploitation by a physician and sexual battery, according to court records. That case was dismissed Wednesday and prosecutors filed a new complaint alleging a felony count of sexual battery by fraud and a misdemeanor count of sexual exploitation by a physician.
The case stems from an Aug. 23, 2016 encounter with a patient who came to his office in Mission Viejo to be checked out for an allergic reaction to sunscreen, according to court records. The 33-year-old woman said House had been her primary care physician for five years.
During the examination, the woman alleged the doctor checked her breasts and touched her groin area, according to court records. At the end of the exam, she said he allegedly told her, “Sometimes I wish I could go further with you,” according to court records.
A physician serving as House’s supervisor said in court papers that he had a talk with House after the incident in which he allegedly said he “messed up” by not having a chaperone in the room with him as required under a performance improvement program implemented since 2014 as he worked at Family Service Kaiser Medical Offices.
The state Attorney General’s Office attempted to obtain a court order in May prohibiting House from continuing to practice medicine, but that was denied and House was ordered to not see female patients without a chaperone present.
House resigned from Kaiser shortly after the incident. A doctor supervising him at his current job praised House, according to court papers.
If convicted at trial, House could face up to four years in prison and having to register as a sex offender for life.
House’s attorney, Ronald Ziff, declined comment.