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Kaiser doctor allegedly molested patient

January 5, 2012 12:56:38 AM PST
A Kaiser Permanente doctor was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly molesting a patient at the Montebello offices.

Police said the victim, a woman in her 30s, was molested by 41-year-old Arturo Vargas when she went to the Kaiser offices at 1550 Town Center Drive. She was a regular patient, and according to police, the alleged sexual assault happened during an examination.

She reported the incident to police, who investigated the case and put a warrant out for the doctor's arrest.

Vargas surrendered at the Montebello police station on Wednesday, where he was booked on suspicion of sexual penetration by a foreign object, battery by fraud and sexual exploitation by a physician. He was released after posting $200,000 bail.

Medical websites that rate physicians show that Vargas worked for Kaiser in Montebello and Baldwin Park. He has been with Kaiser since 2005, and has no history of misconduct or malpractice.

Vargas has been placed on administrative leave.

"We have compassion and sympathy for any patient who may believe that he or she has not been treated appropriately, and we investigate all allegations of improper treatment. We will take all appropriate action to ensure continued high quality care and patient safety," Kaiser Permanente said in a statement.

Police say there may be more victims. Anyone with information is urged to call (323) 887-1262.

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