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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

No Minor Patients for Optometrist, Court Says

(CN) - A Florida optometrist who pleaded guilty to indecent exposure after being accused of exposing himself to two children during eye exams is barred from having minor patients, a Florida appeals court ruled.

Dr. Douglas J. Machiela allegedly exposed himself to two minor females who had been referred to him through the Palm Beach County Health Care District. He told police that he didn't recall his zipper being down in front of anyone, but acknowledged that "it could have happened," the ruling states.

The state Department of Health issued an emergency order limiting his practice to adults. Machiela moved to quash the order, claiming he never engaged in "sexual misconduct."

The 4th District Court of Appeals in West Palm Beach disagreed.

"Allowing him to continue to perform eye examinations on minors without appropriate restrictions would pose an immediate serious danger," Judge Klein concluded.

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