A South Ogden dentist who sexually abused two teenage girls in the 1980s admitted to a state board Friday that he recently treated minor females in violation of restrictions placed on his license.
Norman C. Barber, 48, appeared before the Dentists and Dental Hygienists Board to answer allegations by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing that he treated 14 minor females, some more than once, during the past two years while working in Bountiful and West Valley City dental offices.Barber said he treated the patients because he was "embarrassed" to admit he was not allowed to see female patients under the age of 18 and because he felt it was in the patients' best interest for him to treat them. Barber also admitted he did not tell the truth in a probationary interview last year when he told the board he had complied with the restrictions.
Robert Steed, an assistant attorney general, told the board it should revoke Barber's license or impose a lengthy suspension.
"This order failed because Barber exhibited a callous disregard for it," Steed said near the close of the three-hour hearing. "He lied to the board. The (dental office) staff was lied to. . . . There is absolutely no excuse for this."
Barber's attorney, Jack Helgesen, also suggested that the board suspend Barber's license but only for six months. He said Barber deserves the chance to ask that his license be restored without restrictions in the near future.
The board, composed of practicing dentists, hygienists and a lay person, will make a recommendation to David Robinson, director of the division, and an order will be issued, likely within three weeks.
Barber said he has not practiced dentistry since last April when he left the two offices, run by dentist Edward Fila. His departure came shortly after an employee in a neighboring medical office informed the division that Barber was treating minor females.
Barber said he told Fila and others working in the offices that his license was restricted. Fila told the board that until earlier this year he was unaware of the restrictions and thought Barber only "preferred" not to work on any patients, male or female, under the age of 18.
Barber pleaded guilty in 1988 in 2nd District Court to two charges of forcible sexual abuse of two teenage girls. He was fined and served four months in jail.
The division revoked his license in June 1989. But Barber appealed that decision and was allowed to continue working until the appeal was dismissed in April 1991, at which time he became unlicensed. Three years later, the division reinstated Barber's license with the restrictions.
According to division documents, some of the sexual abuse occurred in Barber's office while the patients were under the influence of nitrous oxide and chloral hydrate. Division records also state that both girls Barber admitted abusing were his daughters and that no abuse of other children was proven or admitted to.
At his November 1994 review, the board told Barber that if he submitted recommendations from therapists stating he posed no threat to minor female patients, it would consider lifting the restrictions. Barber conceded Friday he was in fact violating the conditions of his license at the time of that meeting and continued to do so afterward.