Boise doctor fights license revocation

This story originally was published in the Statesman on July 20, 2013.

The Idaho Board of Medicine last year filed a complaint against Richard J. Pines, who was accused of inappropriate contact with a former psychiatric patient, as well as with former foster and respite-care children.

He also was accused of prescribing drugs to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship.

Pines, whose license was revoked on June 4, worked in multiple places, including Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. He had been licensed since 1997.

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 the doctor’s. He told the 18-year-old that 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 also said that Pines provided foster care between 2000 and 2005 to a boy who was born in June 1988, and that Pines told that child he needed to give naked massages to keep his medical license. The former foster child allowed Pines to do the massages after being repeatedly asked, the board said.

Pines also admitted to taking naked pictures of a patient at Pines’ cabin in Garden Valley, according to the board. The doctor admitted to giving the patient money and told the Boise Police Department that he had engaged in sexual behavior with the former patient, who was born in 1992 and was under Pines’ care between 2005 and ’07, 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 that the teen 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 had revoked his foster-parent license.

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 district 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 that 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. Though 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. 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.

Audrey Dutton: 208-377-6448, @audreydutton