RESEDA (CBSLA.com) — A San Fernando Valley doctor has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting multiple women during medical examinations in his office, police announced Tuesday.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Dr. Michael Howard Popkin has been charged with one count of sexual exploitation of a patient, and three counts of sexual battery.
The allegations made against Popkin span from 2001 to this year.
The medical doctor and surgeon operates a practice in the Encino area. He has been licensed to practice medicine in the state of California since 1977.
CBS2’s Kara Finnstrom reported Popkin’s medical license has not been revoked or suspended at this time. He remains free on bail, able to practice while police continue their investigation.
Detectives believe there may be additional victims who have not yet come forward. One of the victims did not want to be identified and said it was difficult to come forward but did so in hope other victims will follow suit.
Later Tuesday, CBS2’s Dave Lopez talked Popkin who maintained his innocence.
“The DA put on a show and he arrested me and displayed me in front of everyone in the pharmacy,” Popkin said. “Yea, I’m innocent. I don’t want to be crucified in the media. I’ve built my reputation over the last 25 years. The world is a lot meaner than I perceived it to be.”
Lopez spoke with a patient who had just seen the doctor and said he was “very professional.”
Popkin will appear in court December 30 for a preliminary hearing.
“I recognize the difficulty for many sex crimes victims reluctant to report what happened to them, especially if the perpetrator is in a position of trust, like a doctor, and a respected member of the community,” Det. Ninette Toosbuy said. “It is our hope to identify any other victims who have been sexually assaulted by Dr. Popkin.”
Anyone with information about this case has been urged to contact the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Sex Crimes Unit at (818) 374-7718.