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Accused Doctor Makes First Court Appearance
Attorney Questions Kaiser's Failure To Act

POSTED: 6:56 pm PDT June 15, 2006
UPDATED: 7:06 pm PDT June 15, 2006
A plastic surgeon charged with sexually exploiting his patients and stockpiling military weapons in his Carmichael home made his first court appearance on Thursday.

Dr. Scott Takasugi did not enter a plea to the charges against him.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department confirmed that more alleged sexual assault victims are coming forward. KCRA 3 has learned the number could be as high as seven.

Also Thursday, an attorney openly questioned why Kaiser Hospital, where Takasugi worked, did not act sooner to deal with the allegations against him.

Sacramento attorney Noel Ferris said she wants to know what Kaiser Permanente administrators knew about Takasugi's alleged behavior and when they knew it.

"This was so widespread, it's hard to believe that someone working there wouldn't have had some reason to believe something odd was going on and would have and should have mentioned it to somebody," Ferris said.

Ferris also said Takasugi had photographs of at least one of his female patients.

"He took photographs of her completely unrelated to the surgery and completely, totally inappropriate," Ferris said.

In a civil lawsuit filed Thursday, an attorney for one of Takasugi's alleged victims reports suspicious conduct by the doctor dating back to 2001.

Kaiser would not comment on that allegation, instead referring to a prepared statement apologizing for Takasugi's behavior.

Ferris said when the truth comes out, it will be clear that Kaiser knew and could have done something about Takasugi before he victimized more patients.

"If you believe the claim that he did the same thing in 2001 that he did in May of this year, these victims never should have been in this situation," she said.

A Kaiser representative reiterated that Kaiser is moving to terminate Takasugi's employment.

The state Medical Board said that within days, it could ask a judge to suspend Takasugi's license to practice medicine.

Takasugi remains jailed on $2 million bail.