- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Regulators on Wednesday suspended the license of a Chicago psychiatrist accused of overprescribing narcotics and sexually molesting mentally ill patients.

Dr. Josip Pasic engaged in sexual conduct with mentally ill patients to whom he also prescribed opioid painkillers and other drugs, according to an emergency order signed by Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s acting director, Jessica Baer.

One patient, a recovering drug addict, told investigators he endured the doctor touching his groin because he needed his medication and it was difficult to find a doctor who accepts Medicaid. Another patient with bipolar disorder reported that Pasic groped him and gave him $80 when the patient threatened to report it.

The alleged behavior, dating back a decade, led one low-income clinic in Chicago, Circle Family Healthcare, to drop Pasic as a doctor.

Pasic is accused of failing to report to regulators that he was the subject of three investigations into his conduct with patients, an omission that in itself is grounds for discipline. He also failed to tell a Chicago hospital about the investigations when he applied for privileges there, the disciplinary order states.

Pasic and his attorney didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. He has been ordered to appear before the state medical board on Dec. 22.

The documents state that one patient reported Pasic to the police in 2012, but no charges were filed.

In 2008, the Illinois Department of Human Services, which oversees publicly funded mental health care, put restrictions on Pasic, ordering him to keep his door open during therapy sessions and preventing him from sharing his jewelry or clothing with patients. The latter restriction apparently pertained to Pasic allegedly having told investigators that he allowed patients to wear his watch during therapy sessions and that he’d helped patients put on the watch.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations pulled the license on an emergency basis, citing danger to public safety. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration took part in the investigation.

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