Courts & Crime

California doctor, charged with sexual misconduct, wakes up in psych ward

On the day he was supposed to go to prison for sexually exploiting his patients, Dr. Scott Takasugi instead woke up Monday in a psychiatric hospital, facing a no-bail warrant for his arrest.

And in a telephone interview with The Bee, the one-time Kaiser plastic surgeon star said that in spite of his no-contest felony plea, he hadn't done anything illegal.

"What I did was misconstrued medical procedures," Takasugi, 56, said in an interview from the Hillmont Psychiatric Center in Ventura. "I practiced for 14 years, and all of a sudden a complaint comes out?"

In reality, 15 women brought allegations against Takasugi in 2006 in a case that ballooned into a 21-count felony complaint. Three of the victims were minors, ages 17, 14 and 12.

All claimed Takasugi touched their vaginal areas and in some instances took pictures, mostly during consultations for breast surgeries.

Takasugi faces a prison term of three years and eight months as a result of his June 5 no-contest plea to two felony counts in Sacramento Superior Court. He has been barred from practicing medicine in California, and he likely will be forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

After first granting Takasugi two continuances on his sentencing, Judge Steve White was set last Friday to impose the prison term. But the judge delayed the sentencing for another three days when the defendant failed to show up in court following the death of his father - former state Assemblyman Nao Takasugi.

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