Tag: Akepe Ntube

FLORIDA-DEPARTMENT-OF-HEALTH-SEXUAL-ABUSE

Florida Department of Health Needlessly Puts the Public at Risk

“To be the healthiest state in the nation”

That’s the stated ‘vision’ of the Florida Department of Health according to their website. Lofty and impressive goal.

The agency’s ‘mission’ (according to its website) is to “protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida.”  More nice words.

So how does that comport with the Department’s repeated and reckless delays in disciplining those healthcare providers who sexually assault patients and engage in other sexual misconduct.

An easy and effective way to promote public health is to quickly take away the tools that predators use to hurt others. The use of an emergency restriction Order is a remedy that is available while a full investigation into the misconduct is underway.  However, the Department of Health often fails to swiftly employ this tool.

What do police do when they first catch a criminal?  Snatch his or her gun or knife.

That is what we would expect the Department of Health to do as well: promptly take away whatever means sex offenders use to get close to and hurt their victims.

But that is not happening. Consider:

— Parkland pediatrician Michael Mizrachy was arrested on January 12 for having child sex images – after being investigated since June of last year.

Parkland Pediatrician Dr. Michael Mizrachy Arrested On Child Pornography Charges – CBS Miami (cbslocal.com)

He still has an active medical license in good standing.

FL DOH MQA Search Portal | License Verification For Practitioner Details (state.fl.us)

 

— Dr. Stewart Bitman was arrested on January 26 for reportedly sending sexually explicit pictures to a child.

Coral Springs Doctor Arrested For Allegedly Sending Sexually Explicit Photos To A Child

He still has a medical license in good standing  FL DOH MQA Search Portal | License Verification For Practitioner Details (state.fl.us)

 

— Mental health therapist Fernando Gautier was arrested for raping a 14 year old in November 2020.

South Florida Therapist Accused of Raping 14-Year-Old Patient – NBC 6 South Florida (nbcmiami.com)

He still has a active license in good standing.

https://mqa-internet.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/HealthcareProviders/LicenseVerification?LicInd=15758&Procde=5207&org=%20

–Physical therapist Akepe Ntube was charged with felony sexual battery on a female patient in Lee County last July.

https://www.239mugshots.com/booking.php?id=LEE-925666

He still has an active license in good standing.

LicenseVerification?LicInd=10955&Procde=5502&org=%20

–Massage Envy massage therapist Jose Grajales was charged with battery on female client in Palm Beach County last September following an allegation he touched his client’s vagina without her consent during a massage appointment. He entered a ‘no contest’ plea and agreed to surrender his license more than a month ago.

Grajales Plea Deal

He still has an active massage license in good standing.

LicenseVerification?LicInd=95232&Procde=1401&org=%20

What does this slowness to suspend or revoke licenses of abusive health care professionals mean?

It means there is a hidden danger to the unsuspecting public.  These individuals are able to continue to practice medicine (or other healthcare practices) and command the trust of patients that are not aware of their criminal charges.  One might say — what does it matter —  These professionals typically lose their employment.  But what’s to stop them from gaining new employment, becoming self-employed, or venturing into environments like home health care, health care via apps, or telemedicine.  Not all of these criminal cases made headlines news. So, this is information the public needs to know.

The solution, which the Department eventually gets around to in most cases, is an Emergency Order by the DOH restricting these licenses, pending a final hearing.  But that takes far too long.  Sometimes many months.

“To be the healthiest state in the nation” is an admirable goal.

But if the Florida Department of Health is serious about their work, they’ll take an obvious, simple and should-be-quick move to warn the public about predators and make it harder for predators to get access to more victims.

FORT MYERS PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT

FORT MYERS PHYSICAL THERAPIST ASSISTANT CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT

On July 9, 2020, Akepe Ntube, a licensed physical therapist assistant, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Grace Medical and Chiropractic located at 13720 North Cleveland Ave. in North Fort Myers, Florida. Police said initiated unwanted sexual contact with the woman while treating her. Ntube, 46, of Lehigh Acres was arrested on one count of sexual assault after the woman reported the incident to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. 

According to the arrest report, the woman said upon completion of the chiropractor’s treatment, she was lying face down on the massage table for her usual five minute massage of her hamstrings and glutes. She was fully clothed in shirt, shorts and shoes, when Ntube started to massage the back of her leg and moved his hand up toward her buttocks. He slid his hand under her shorts and underwear and quickly stuck his fingers in her vagina. The woman became immediately frightened and pushed his hand away, asking why he would do such a thing. Ntube apologized and begged her to not tell anyone. She went straight to the police.

When the detective interviewed Ntube he claimed the woman became “upset” for no apparent reason and didn’t finish her massage. When asked if he had touched her vagina he said, “I don’t think so.”  He was told the woman was getting a medical exam which included DNA collection from her vaginal area. The detective asked if his DNA would be found.  At that point, Ntube asked to speak with a lawyer.

According to the Florida Department of Health, Ntube received his physical therapist license in February 2012. No previous disciplinary action or complaints have been reported. The judge set a $20,000 bail for his release. He was released the following day. His scheduled trial date is set for August 8, 2020.

When patients schedule physical therapy sessions it is to improve bodily movement, manage pain and recover and heal from injuries or other medical conditions.  They trust that therapists employed at the medical office are carefully vetted, professional and safe.  It is both unacceptable and unlawful for any employee to touch a patient in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against health care professionals on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital.  If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery by a health care professional, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.