CLIFTON, N.J. -- A Clifton psychiatrist who authorities said had "inappropriate physical contact" with a patient in his office and at her home -- for which she gave him gifts that included a "World's Sexiest Psychiatrist" pin -- had his license revoked for four years.
Theodore F. Jasper will be able to return to practice in August 2019, however:
The revocation by the State Board of Medical Examiners is retroactive to 2015, when he first agreed to surrender his license as part of an interim consent order, authorities said.
Jasper "admitted to engaging in inappropriate physical contact and gift exchanges with the patient," whom he'd been treating with a combination of medications and "talk therapy," state Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said Tuesday.
In addition to the license revocation, Jasper agreed to pay civil penalties and investigative and attorneys' fees of $53,390, Porrino said.
He also must submit to a psycho-sexual evaluation, complete any recommended follow-up treatment, and take courses in patient boundaries and ethics before making any effort to reapply for his license, the attorney general said.
“Any physician who engages in an inappropriate physical relationship with a patient is violating well-established professional boundaries,” he said.
“This is particularly true for a psychiatrist who, as stated in the Board’s regulations, bears an even greater responsibility to establish and maintain boundaries," Porrino added.
“Patients, especially those seeking mental health services, are most vulnerable when under a doctor’s care and should not have to deal with inappropriate physical contact,” said Steve Lee, director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The Board took the necessary action in light of the disturbing conduct admitted to by this doctor.”
Jasper began treating the patient in 2004, then began a personal relationship with her in 2013, according to the original consent order.
He "had sexual intercourse at her home and in his medical office," while she "sent him semi-nude photos and gifts, including a pin that identified Jasper as the 'World’s Sexiest Psychiatrist'," a complaint on file in Trenton says.
The Board found that Jasper’s actions "constituted the use or employment of dishonesty, gross or repeated malpractice, professional misconduct, violation or failure to comply with the provisions of any act or regulation administered by the Board and failure to be of good moral character as required for licensing as a physician, all in violation of state statutes."
If Jasper reapplies for his license after the period of revocation and the terms in the consent order are met, the Board of Medical Examiners "may still impose conditions on his return to practice, including requiring that he see only male patients or only see female patients with a chaperone present," Porrino said.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted the investigation. Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska is handling the case for the state.
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