San Francisco: Closing arguments underway in trial of fake doctor accused of sexually assaulting clients

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — Closing arguments began today in the trial of a man accused of posing as a medical professional and sexually assaulting women in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron today said Carlos Guzmangarza, who holds no medical credential or license, took nude photos, digitally penetrated and raped clients while performing plastic surgical procedures including liposuction, facelifts and buttock augmentations on a mostly Spanish-speaking clientele.

Guzmangarza is charged with 54 counts involving eight victims that include rape, forced oral copulation, sexual battery, practicing without a license, grand theft, identity theft and assault, according to prosecutors.

Guzmangarza allegedly posed as a licensed physician’s assistant by stealing the identity of a real medical professional and operated a plastic surgery clinic, Derma Clinic, in the 2500 block of Mission Street. He also allegedly claimed a real doctor was his partner in the clinic without that doctor’s knowledge.

In some cases the alleged sexual incidents appear to have occurred while the women were asleep or unconscious after receiving injections and pills from the defendant, according to Ackiron.

The victims believed Guzmangarza was a doctor and many only realized there was a problem and reported the incidents after seeing news coverage of his arrest in 2011, Ackiron said.

“We trust doctors,” Ackiron said. “Hardly anybody else in the world gets that level of trust.”

One victim has testified Guzmangarza performed one liposuction procedure while smoking a cigar and making the client hold her own IV bag, and then later dumped what he said was six pounds of fat removed from her body down the victim’s toilet.

That victim’s abdomen later became infected and she was forced to see another doctor, at which point she learned that Guzmangarza was not a real doctor. She has since undergone corrective surgery, according to prosecutors.

“He put all of these people at incredible risk,” Ackiron said today.

Ackiron said he expected to continue his closing arguments this afternoon before San Francisco Superior Court Judge Michael Begert, with closing arguments from Deputy Public Defender Michelle Tong to follow.

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