Crystal Lake doctor sues patients over sexual misconduct allegations

CHICAGO – A Crystal Lake doctor is suing three former patients whose allegations of sexual misconduct caused him to lose his medical license.

Dr. Mahesh Parikh, a neurologist, also filed a defamation lawsuit against the mother of one of his accusers, saying the four women made “false statements” to the state department that suspended his license. He filed the lawsuits in Cook County earlier this month.

“[Parikh is] wanting to make an effort to regain some level of standing and trust in the community by demonstrating that these were baseless allegations,” his attorney, Rishi Agrawal, said.

Parikh’s medical license was suspended in March 2012 by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation after allegations surfaced that he fondled a 19-year-old patient who sought treatment at his Crystal Lake practice, Advanced Neurological Care.

The alleged victim and her mother filed a police report with the Crystal Lake Police Department at the time, but Parikh never was criminally charged. Those two women are defendants in Parikh’s defamation lawsuit.

He was accused of, on several occasions beginning in March 2009, placing his hand down the victim’s shirt, underneath her bra and squeezing her breasts, and later putting an ungloved hand down her buttoned pants inside her underwear and touching the pelvic region.

After a hearing in the summer and fall of 2012, an administrative law judge and a review board ruled that there was not clear and convincing evidence that Parikh engaged in unprofessional conduct and found that the alleged victim’s testimony alone was insufficient.

But Jay Stewart, the director of the Professional Regulation Division, disagreed and indefinitely suspended Parikh’s license for at least one year.

“[Parikh] overstepped his relationship with a young, vulnerable patient and fondled her breasts and touched her pelvic area for no clinical purpose during numerous neurological examinations,” Stewart said at the time. “[Parikh] abused his position of trust and took advantage of his patient.”

Parikh’s medical license was suspended, but he was allowed to petition the department for a reinstatement after one year. He did so in April, and he learned that two more alleged victims had come forward, Agrawal said.

In addition to the first alleged victim and her mother, Parikh also is suing those two women. All are McHenry County residents. The Northwest Herald is not identifying the women because the case involves sexual abuse allegations.

In the legal filings, Parikh said the allegations “severely damaged” his reputation as a physician and could deprive him of regaining his medical license. As a result of the allegations, Parikh lost his $1 million annual income, had his home foreclosed upon, and sought psychiatric treatment.

He is seeking damages of more than $5 million from each woman and an injunction stopping them from testifying at a fall hearing to have his medical license reinstated.

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