More claims against doctor accused of harassment

Posted at 10:33 AM, Apr 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-17 18:12:57-04

SAN MARCOS, Calif. -- Three more women have come forward, claiming a trip to a San Marcos doctor's office turned into a nightmare.

Last week, 10News broke the story of Dr. Manuel Tanguma, now facing a medical board complaint and a lawsuit. After she saw that story, Melissa contacted 10News.

Melissa, who requested 10News hide her identity, visited Graybill Medical in January 2015 for a physical with her new doctor, Dr. Tanguma. 

“It was uncomfortable and awkward,” said Melissa.

Melissa says Dr. Tanguma zeroed in on one topic: her sex life. He then stared at her. 

“The sexual innuendo was loud and clear. He looked at me and said, ‘I would love to do your pap smear.’” 

Soon after, she says he made another offer.

“With hands like this, I would love to do your breast exam,” said Melissa, making a squeezing gesture with both hands.

Melissa didn't allowed it. She says after several more visits for referrals, she stopped seeing him and filed a complaint with the Medical Board of California.

Meanwhile, more than four years prior to Melissa's visit, Kimberly was making her first visit to Dr. Tanguma, She needed treatment for a serious medical condition.

As she awaited a test, he walked into the exam room.

“All of a sudden, there was his head poking in the door. He said, ‘Oh, I thought I was going to catch you with your boobs hanging out,’” said Kimberly, who also asked us not to use her real name.

Weeks later, during another visit, she says he came into his office, greeted her and then, “he sat down with his legs spread apart and took his penis out and proceeded to sit there with his legs spread eagle, touching it and moving it around,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly says she froze, even as he typed away and casually asked her questions for several minutes about her condition and medications, before zipping up and leaving. She says she saw him for several years after because she feared he would cut off her treatment. She says his behavior didn't stop.

“You just block everything out and become numb to it,” Kimberly said.

Kimberly and Melissa are two of three women who contacted 10News after our original story.

“I would like him to stop practicing. I would like him to never ever do this to another woman again,” Kimberly said.

“Their stories are similar," said Jessica Pride, attorney who represents four women in a lawsuit against the doctor. "They were there for serious medical conditions. The facts do suggest Dr. Tanguma was picking women in a vulnerable state,” .

The lawsuit alleges sexual harassment and battery against Dr. Tanguma. A separate case filed by the Medical Board of California on behalf of another woman will determine if he keeps his license. A hearing is set for July.

A board spokesperson declined to comment on a possible criminal case. In a statement, Graybill Medical says they were "deeply disappointed" in learning of his conduct, confirming he resigned in November 2015 after seven years.

Records show Dr. Tanguma has since been hired by North County Health Services. It told 10News it was planning on releasing a statement about the allegations. 

10News has learned Dr. Tanguma is in the midst of a divorce and has a 4-year-old son. Calls to his lawyer were not immediately returned.