Court Commissioner Halts Medical Practice of Tustin Gynecologist

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Tustin gynecologist accused of sexually molesting or improperly treating at least 140 patients over a 30-year period was ordered to stop practicing medicine Friday by a commissioner who concluded that he is a danger to the public.

Orange County Superior Court Commissioner Eleanor M. Palk granted a temporary restraining order that shuts down Dr. Ivan C. Namihas' practice pending another hearing April 22.

Several of Namihas' accusers attended the hearing and greeted the decision with satisfaction.

"It's so gratifying to get him to stop practicing, to stop seeing women, to stop touching them," said Roberta Ward, whose 1982 complaint to the Medical Board of California was one of those triggering the board's decision in December to try to strip Namihas of his license.

Even before the court considered Friday's emergency request for a temporary restraining order, which was sought as the number of alleged victims soared from about 20 to more than 100, Namihas beat the judicial system to the punch. Starting Thursday night, he moved furniture out of his office, and removed the nameplates from his door and the building's directory.

Documents filed in Superior Court on Friday revealed a wider range of alleged misconduct by the 59-year-old Namihas, whom patients have accused of attempting to masturbate them.

The new details--including a claim that Namihas had a hospital employee fired for refusing his advances--prompted Deputy Atty. Gen. Randy Christison to write in court papers that Namihas is "a predator in a white coat" and that he has demonstrated "a singularly malevolent personality."

Included in the court file is a lengthy statement by Namihas' former office manager, detailing several instances in which the gynecologist allegedly sexually harassed her and other female employees and other occasions when he allegedly molested her and patients.

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