A Lake Worth doctor carried on a ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ style relationship with a female patient after hours in his office — using whips, blindfolds and other sadomasochistic acts in an unconventional bid to combat her depression, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reports.
But the doctor of osteopathy now faces the prospect of losing his license to practice in Florida, a member of the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine said.
The Florida Department of Health filed an administrative complaint against Simon in July, alleging inappropriate sexual conduct with a patient. Potential sanctions include permanent license revocation.
That’s the penalty the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine favors, one board member said Wednesday.
Dr. Joel Rose said that when Simon and his attorney appeared before a board meeting in Tampa on Friday, they proposed to resolve the issue by settlement. But the board countered with its own proposal.
“What I can tell you is that the board made a counteroffer to him to revoke his license,” Rose said, adding that it appeared the case could now head to an administrative hearing.
Attempts to reach Simon or his attorney for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.
In 2011, the female patient, now 39, told investigators about Simon’s methods after her psychologist got in touch with deputies. The psychologist was concerned because the woman spoke of a sexual relationship with a physician who was withholding her medication, according to Sheriff’s Office incident reports.
Deputies spoke to the woman, whose name was redacted from the documents. They also spoke that day to Simon at his office.
Simon told deputies he did nothing wrong, and said the relationship was “fully consensual.” The woman agreed the relationship was consensual, although she said she suspected it was inappropriate.
According to a Sheriff’s Office report, Simon referred to the sessions — there were about 15 between in the year leading up to December 2011 — as “punishment therapy.”
Simon also told deputies that the woman initiated the activity. He said she had asked him if he was “into sex toys and requested to have a sadomasochistic relationship with him,” according to the report. He said he agreed but told the woman he couldn’t see her as a patient anymore if they were to have a sexual relationship.
According to the Sheriff’s Office reports, Simon said he terminated the woman as a patient before the sessions began, something that contradicted what the woman had said.
The woman told deputies that Simon choked her while she was naked, tied her up, locked her in a closet and slapped her. She also performed sex acts on the doctor as a token of gratitude, the reports said.
The woman never paid for the sessions, and she said that Simon would give her free samples of medication and money to buy food.
While questioning Simon at his office, deputies found “several sexual items” including whips, chains, blindfolds, cuffs, condoms and other sex toys.
According to the report, the woman “believed this was therapy” and told deputies that Simon told her it would help her.
“I don’t really like it but he told me it would help,” the woman was quoted as telling investigators.
When her psychologist contacted the Sheriff’s Office, the woman said she wanted the sessions to stop.