Two men pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license for drilling holes in a woman’s skull in a procedure they said was intended to restore her childhood buoyancy.
Peter Halvorson, 54, and William Lyons, 56, were placed on three years’ probation, fined $500 and ordered to undergo psychiatric evaluation Monday. They could have received up to five years in prison if convicted.
Some New Age followers believe the centuries-old drilling practice promotes higher consciousness and relieves depression.
Prosecutors learned of the operation--performed on a woman who had traveled from England for it--when it was broadcast by ABC’s “20/20" in February 2000. The woman apparently returned to England and her wound healed, prosecutor Scott Burns said. Burns is investigating whether an ABC reporter encouraged the surgery.
Halvorson, who bored a hole in his own head 29 years ago with a power drill, said the case helped publicize the procedure.