The Medical Board of California have revoked the medical license of an UCLA cardiologist who was accused of sexually assaulting his colleague at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. The decision was made on May 24th.
Dr. Guillermo Andres Cortes lost his license per the recommendation of an administrative law judge. The revocation takes effect in 30 days.
Dr. Meena Zareh had accused Cortes of forcibly kissing her and manually penetrating her inside a call room at L.A. County’s teaching hospital in Boyle Heights in 2015. Two other women who worked as doctors at County-USC also accused Cortes of assault.
Testifying last year in a downtown L.A. hearing, Cortes denied all accusations of sexual assault, saying that he never touched Zareh and that he had consensual sexual relationships with two other accusers.
The administrative law judge, Thomas Heller, concluded that Zareh “proved by clear and convincing evidence” that Cortes assaulted her, but he was unconvinced about the other two accusations, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“The assault occurred in the workplace and violated professional, personal and workplace boundaries,” Heller wrote in his decision.
“To say that he can’t practice medicine again is pretty excessive,” said Cortes’ attorney, Peter Osinoff. “There have been no patient complaints against him. The board revoked his license without placing him on probation or having him evaluated for fitness to practice.”
On Nov. 17, 2015, Zareh, then a third-year resident, was briefly trapped by Cortes inside a call room after the two had discussed a professional matter. When Zareh turned to leave, he stood in the doorway and pushed her arms to her sides. Despite her pleas to let her go, he overpowered and assaulted her. The attack lasted about three to five minutes.
Osinoff, the attorney for Cortes, said his client is still deciding whether to ask the Medical Board to reconsider, or petition an L.A. County Superior Court judge to review the finding