Merced dentist sexually assaults patient, police say

MERCED, Calif.

The Dental Board of California put Dr. Sang Park on probation for three years for gross negligence, incompetence, and insurance fraud in 2009. Now he's accused of sexually violating a patient.

Merced police served a search warrant at a dental office and arrested Dr. Sang Park, 43, on Tuesday. Investigators say a patient came forward October 23rd and told officers Dr. Park sexually assaulted them during a procedure under local anesthesia.

Lt. Tom Trinidad said, "They had woken to where their pants were partially down, and the doctor had exposed himself."

Lt. Tom Trinidad says detectives found evidence, including a photograph while searching the business. Now they're looking for any other possible victims.

"Unfortunately there are usually others," Lt. Tom Trinidad said. "And a lot of times victims are very hesitant about coming forward because nobody's gonna believe me or the embarrassment of the situation."

This is not the first time Dr. Park has faced accusations of mistreating a patient. A report by the Dental Board of California, lists multiple cases of gross negligence, incompetence, and excessive treatment during Dr. Park's time at practice in Modesto in 2001. That includes the case of an 11-year-old boy who officials say received 11 unnecessary fillings in one visit, which fell out months later.

The complaint says Dr. Park was nicknamed "Speedy Gonzales" because of how quickly he performed procedures.

Officials also claim he committed insurance fraud -- collecting more than $83 thousand in less than four months by claiming he did more work than reasonably possible. Those allegations led to a three year probation. But now Dr. Park could face prison time if convicted.

Dr. Park posted bail immediately after his arrest. Jail records show he lives in Stockton. Action News left him a message Wednesday, but he did not return my call. His dental office was closed, but a sign on the door says it will re-open Thursday.

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