Doctor who faced Idaho complaint in 2002 accused of groping patients in Washington

A Washington state doctor whose license to practice medicine in Idaho was temporarily revoked in 2002 has been accused of sexual misconduct and abuse.

Dr. James A. Laurino, 73, has voluntarily surrendered his license to practice as a physician, according to the Washington Medical Commission.

In 2002, the Idaho State Board revoked Laurino’s license, but an Idaho District Court reversed the decision to revoke his license and dismissed the disciplinary complaint against him.

The board appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, which affirmed two minor standard-of-care violations, and Laurino continued to be licensed.

The sexual misconduct and abuse accusations in Washington were related to his work at a clinic in Snohomish County, where he practiced in 2017. However, the state medical commission calls him a Benton County doctor.

Laurino is scheduled to go to trial in Snohomish County in January on a charge of indecent liberties by a health care provider, a felony.

He is accused of groping a 21-year-old patient in August 2017 in Snohomish County.

Then he offered the patient a job editing a book he was writing, according to allegations by the Washington state Medical Quality Assurance Commission.

In a second incident, he is accused on inappropriate touching of a woman who needed a pre-employment exam. No date was given in state records for the incident, which also happened in Snohomish County.

The patient told a state investigator that she was left feeling assaulted and questioning if she wanted to work for a place that employed a doctor like Laurino, according to state documents.

State investigators discovered that three other allegations of inappropriate conduct had been made to Laurino’s employer.

In one incident he is accused of writing “vulgar,” “unprofessional,” “makes you sound like a tramp” and “very ignorant” on a Post-it note for a medical assistant.

He told his employer that her words were offensive and that she needed help understanding how she is perceived, according to state records.

He remains licensed to practice medicine in Idaho, where he listed a Richland address to the state’s Board of Medicine, according to information on the board’s website.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.