Child psychiatrist accused of misconduct seeks license back

adutton@idahostatesman.comJuly 19, 2013 

— A child psychiatrist in Boise who was accused of sexual misconduct with four young men is asking to have his license reinstated.

The Idaho Board of Medicine last year filed a complaint against the doctor, Richard J. Pines.

Pines is accused of inappropriate contact with a former psychiatric patient and former foster and respite-care children. He also is accused of prescribing drugs to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship.

Pines had been licensed since 1997 and worked in multiple places, including Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. The board revoked his license June 4.

The Board of Medicine alleged that Pines "engaged in sexual misconduct or contact" with a high-school senior who was a former foster child of Pines. He told the 18-year-old he needed to do a physical exam on him to earn medical certification. Pines "admittedly gave [him] $2,000 after the incident," the board's complaint said.

The complaint said that Pines also provided foster care between 2000 and 2005 to another boy who was born in June 1988, and that Pines told the former foster child he needed to give naked massages to keep his medical license. The former foster child let Pines do naked massages after being repeatedly asked, the board said.

A patient born January 1992 was under Pines' medical care from about Aug. 31, 2005, through Sept. 26, 2007, and Pines admitted to taking naked pictures of him at Pines' cabin in Garden Valley, according to the board. The doctor admitted to giving the patient money and told the Boise Police Department he had engaged in sexual behavior with the former patient, the board said.

The board said that in June 2001, the doctor had sexual contact with a 14-year-old in his Garden Valley cabin, after using the hot tub. However, a hearing officer later concluded the boy had turned 18 before the contact occurred.

"As a physician, benefactor and foster/respite parent, he stood in a position of power, authority or supervision over these boys," the board wrote, adding that the Department of Health and Welfare has revoked his foster-parent license. "The Board determined that Dr. Pines engaged in sexual contact with these boys … by means of false representation that the sexual contact is for bona fide medical purpose by a physician."

The board also said Pines had a three-year affair with an adult woman to whom he prescribed drugs, including painkillers.

Eight days after his license revocation, Pines filed a lawsuit asking an Ada County Fourth District Court judge to reverse that decision and the board's order for Pines to pay $37,755 in attorney fees and costs.

In his appeal, Pines will "raise the constitutionality of all statutes upon which the Idaho State Board of Medicine relied in its order," he said in court documents.

The board's decision followed a hearing in November. During the hearing, several colleagues of Pines said they never saw him acting inappropriately and that he was a "valued and respected" doctor.

The hearing officer later gave a report to the board that acknowledged he didn't have the authority to weigh the constitutionality of the rule Pines is accused of breaking. While he didn't make a disciplinary recommendation, he did point to a past case wherein a doctor who had sex with patients was only fined, not disbarred. The board disagreed with the officer's conclusions and revoked Pines' license.

An attorney for Pines declined to talk about the lawsuit. Pines has not been charged with any crimes related to the allegations, according to state court records.

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service