Jury watches undercover video of man accused of preying on desperate cancer and HIV patients

Keith Barton charged as impersonating a doctor

SAN DIEGO - A La Mesa man is on trial on charges of grand theft and posing as a doctor.

 An undercover video shot by state medical board investigators show jurors how Keith Barton reeled in his victims.

The video was filmed in a hotel room in San Ysidro exactly one year ago. Barton was selling himself as a miracle worker to a woman he believed was a cancer victim. In reality, she is an investigator with the California medical licensing board.

"I handle everything from top to bottom," he says in the video. "I'm a specialist. I'm a cancer specialist. I'm an HIV specialist."

But he had no medical license. Fast-talking and animated, he tossed around medical terms mixed with slang: "Hellooo," "I couldn't look myself in the mirror," "You need surgery, you need blah, blah, blah."

He also told tales of amazing recoveries.

"'She looks like 20 years younger," Barton says in the video. "You know she has a receding hairline? … She started to grow it back. I said, 'Really?'"

Other stories told on the witness stand were much more somber. There was a tearful woman whose 9-year-old daughter died under his care.

Later, a man whose wife was disfigured during oral surgery in Mexico also testified.

"They took a lot of bone out of her jaw, primarily in the bottom," he said. "They removed five dental implants, three on the bottom, two on the top."

The jury also got to see the real Dr. Keith Barton, a licensed physician in the Bay Area who had no idea his identity had been stolen.

The Keith Barton on trial sometimes fidgeted and muttered to himself as the trial unfolded.

The jury could begin deliberations Thursday afternoon. Charges include grand theft and felony treating people without a license.

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