A La Plata internist charged with sexually assaulting four women at his office has been suspended from medical practice in Maryland, Charles County authorities said this week.
The Maryland Board of Physicians indefinitely suspended the license of Waheed U. Akthar, 54. In doing so, the board released a 36-page report detailing allegations of Akthar's behavior with 25 female patients over more than 10 years. On Friday, authorities went to Akthar's White Plains office and confiscated his medical license, prescription pads and medications, said Charles County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Kristen Adkins.
In June, Akthar was charged in a criminal summons that alleged he kissed and fondled the breasts of two 21-year-old patients during treatment for minor ailments. The first woman went to Akthar's office Oct. 27 for a cold, according to the summons. During the physical exam, Akthar fondled the woman's breasts and kissed her on the neck and shoulder, the summons said.
On June 3, another 21-year-old woman went to his office to be treated for poison ivy on her ankles, when Akthar "thrust his hands under her bra," fondled her and kissed her on her back and buttocks, according to charging papers. In each of the two cases, Akthar was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and two counts of fourth-degree sex assault.
After the charges were reported publicly, authorities said 20 additional women reported similar incidents with Akthar, who practiced at the White Plains Medical Center at 10583 Theodore Green Blvd. Only the two most recent cases resulted in additional charges, authorities said, because the one-year statute of limitations had expired on the others.
Akthar, who has practiced medicine in White Plains for 14 years, said in an interview with The Washington Post in June that he is innocent. He said he was performing breast exams on the women as part of physical examinations they had requested. Attempts to reach Akthar by telephone this week were unsuccessful.
The Board of Physicians said it has probable cause to believe Akthar "is guilty of immoral or unprofessional conduct," and protecting the public health, safety and welfare "imperatively requires emergency action" against him, according to the report.
The report outlines 25 unnamed female patients' accounts of Akthar's behavior. In one case, a patient reported five incidents in which Akthar fondled her breasts. On a March 13, 2001, visit for digestive problems, Akthar "instructed her to completely disrobe and rubbed and squeezed her breasts, inserted a finger in her rectum multiple times, and then 're-examined' her breasts," the report said.
Another patient, who was 28 at the time of her July 27, 2000, visit, went to Akthar to have her blood tested because of thyroid disease, the report said. After discussing the reason for her visit, Akthar pulled down her bra, fondled her breasts, and said, "You have big boobies, girl," according to the medical board's report.
Akthar graduated from Osmania University in India in 1974 before doing postgraduate training in Chicago and Jacksonville, Fla.
If convicted on all charges, Akthar faces a maximum penalty of 44 years in prison, the sheriff's office said.