A 67 year old doctor was recently arrested following sexual assault allegations made by multiple female patients. Dr. Michael Popkin, who has been licensed to practice medicine in California since 1977, was alleged to have committed the assaults at his Encino office during medical exams between 2001 and 2016. Given Dr. Popkin’s 4 decades of medical practice, detectives within LAPD’s sex crimes unit are continuing their investigation hoping to locate additional victims. As it stands, Dr. Popkin is currently facing 4 sex crime charges ranging from sexual exploitation of a patient and sexual battery. If convicted Dr. Popkin could face imprisonment in county jail or state prison and lifetime sex offender registration.
Criminal Arrests Involving Licensed Professionals
Dr. Popkin’s case exemplifies the heightened consequences licensed professionals face when charged with criminal offenses. In addition to the criminal case, the Medical Board of California (MBC) will likely launch their own independent investigation into Dr. Popkin’s medical licensing. As a California state licensing agency, the MBC has the authority to conduct its own administrative investigations and independently dispense its own punishments for acts which violate the board’s code of ethics. Similar to the California DMV’s authority to suspend one’s driving privilege even without a DUI conviction in court, the MBC and other professional licensing can impose administrative sanctions upon licensees without a criminal conviction.