PROVO — A fertility specialist who was accused of massaging the genitals of his female patients can keep his license to practice — but will be on probation for five years.
Larry Glen Andrew, an osteopathic physician in Springville who in August pleaded no contest to eight class A misdemeanors of sexual battery, will be allowed to treat patients and prescribe medicine, according to a stipulation and order by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, which was signed Thursday.
"This is a common practice of DOPL," said Sarah Spencer, Andrew's attorney for the DOPL proceedings. "As long as Dr. Andrew complies with all the requirements contained in the stipulation, then his license will not be revoked and eventually it will be returned to full status."
Andrew's license was temporarily revoked until he completed a DOPL-requested psycho-sexual evaluation, which he has finished, Spencer said. He now has his license but must comply with several stipulations.
Those include taking courses about medical ethics and sexual boundaries, participating in any division-required therapy and hiring a doctor to monitor his work.
Andrew also agreed he would have a chaperone present at all examinations involving females, would not provide health care to any employees, nor use himself as an example or subject for health-care demonstrations, according to the stipulation and order.
"He will fulfil and he intends to maintain full compliance with the division stipulation and order," Spencer said.
Andrew was initially charged in 4th District Court with 19 second-degree felony charges of forcible sex abuse after several women came forward to report that he had massaged their genitals and touched them in ways inconsistent with fertility exams. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors as part of a plea deal.
"(Andrew) admits that (his) conduct ... (was) unprofessional conduct as defined in Utah Code ... and that said conduct justifies disciplinary action against (his) license," according to the order.
Andrew must inform future employers about his probation, but he's not required to inform patients, according to the stipulation and order.
Although court and DOPL proceedings are separate, Deputy Utah County Attorney Dave Sturgill said he thought DOPL would enact a harsher punishment.
"Never mind what all the patients or employees are telling you, just listen to what he admitted to doing," Sturgill said. "Is that not enough to take somebody's license away?"
Sturgill referenced the DOPL hearing in December 2005 during which Andrew's license was temporarily suspended for similar concerns, then reinstated.
Andrew's attorney for the criminal case did not return calls from the Deseret Morning News.
Several former patients attended the August court hearing and expressed their frustration at what they called a huge breach of trust.
"I didn't know until after the fact ... that there (was) something really wrong," one woman told reporters.
The women explained that because the procedures were so new and because Andrew was a medical professional, they trusted him and didn't question him when he told them rubbing their genitals was part of the process.
"I just hope DOPL takes away his license forever," another victim said.