Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tracy, CA physician settles for millions in patient molestation cases - sentenced to 3 years imprisonment

(Original Post 2-7-10)
Peter Chi, a Livermore, CA plastic suregeon who practiced in Tracy, CA, has settled a lawsuit for $1.8 million filed by 37 female patients who alleged that they were groped and fondled by him at his practice, according to Stewart Tabak, the attorney for some of the victims. Tabak said that he and other attorneys reached the settlement because "It would be better to resolve it now." Chi's insurance company, Evaston Insurance, is trying to revoke his policy for criminal acts, not covered under the policy.

Chi, a Livermore resident, was the medical director of Beauty Renewed Laser Skin Center at 1770 N. Tracy Blvd. He was first charged in February 2009 after eight women filed reports with Tracy police. More women came forward after the investigation became public. The incidents are alleged to have occurred from May 2007 to January 2008.

The criminal case against Chi, 46, is still ongoing. He has pleaded not guilty to 51 counts of sexual battery, 15 counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object while the victim was unconscious and one count of committing a lewd act upon a child. One of Chi's accusers was 15 at the time of the alleged molestation.

Chi's trial is scheduled to start October 25. He's currently free on $500,000 bail and has surrendered his passport and medical license to authorities.

(Update 4-13-11) Chi was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and a lifetime on the sex offender registry on April 4, 2011. The disgraced physician pled guilty to 36 counts of sexual battery and one dozen of the victims were present in the courtroom. "Renee" said that Chi botched her plastic surgery as well as groped her. "I feel like I was in a major car accident... He mutilated not only my body but my spirit. Today is judgment day."

As for Chi himself, he said just before sentencing,"I accept complete responsibility for my actions, and I am very sorry for the pain and suffering I have caused the victims and their families."   San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Xapuri Villapudua chastized him for "taking advantage of mothers, daughters, and sisters."

Diana Koron, Chi's marketing director between 2004 and 2006 until she said Chi sexually assaulted her, attended Chi's sentencing. “I’m glad it’s over. I wish the sentence would be longer. But I am glad it’s over. I’ve been waiting since 2006 for him to be sentenced. Being in the courtroom yesterday was so emotionally draining....He showed absolutely no remorse whatsoever. He wouldn’t even look at anyone,”she said. Koron was not represented in any of Chi's civil lawsuits or criminal charges.

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