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NEWARK – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that three physicians—including two doctors who pleaded guilty to criminal sexual contact with patients during office visits, and a psychiatrist who allegedly engaged in professional and sexual misconduct with a patient—are permanently barred from practicing medicine in New Jersey.
Under a Final Consent Order filed today, the medical license of Dr. Carl J. Renner, 66, has been permanently revoked by the State Board of Medical Examiners (the “Board”). As part of his plea to criminal sexual contact, Dr. Renner admitted that he intentionally touched six female patients inappropriately and without legitimate medical purpose or their consent, during medical procedures and examinations at his Hasbrouck Heights practice.
Another Final Consent Order also filed this week by the Board permanently revokes the license of psychiatrist Dr. Pritpaul Singh, 71, for his alleged involvement in sexual activity with a female patient, violation of the standards for prescribing controlled dangerous substances (CDS), failure to utilize the Prescription Monitoring Program, and failure to monitor patient compliance with treatment.
And in a separate action, the Board also found Dr. Michael Tyshkov, 67, engaged in criminal sexual contact with patients that warranted the permanent revocation of his license to practice medicine. On December 3, 2020, Dr. Tyshkov pleaded guilty to sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a minor, after admitting to touching three female patients inappropriately, one of whom was a minor, during medical visits at his Summit practice.
The announcement follows sweeping reforms unveiled by Attorney General Grewal to crack down on sexual abuse and misconduct by licensed professionals on the twentieth anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
“Sexual abuse and misconduct is inappropriate in any setting, but especially troubling when the perpetrators are the professionals we entrust with our health and wellbeing,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The egregious conduct in these cases warranted severe consequences, and these sanctions should serve as examples of how we will continue to protect the public by holding professionals involved in sexual misconduct accountable.”
Attorney General Grewal issued Administrative Executive Directive No. 2021-3 on April 6, calling on the Division of Consumer Affairs (the “Division”) to work with the 51 professional boards and committees to adopt new policies and improve existing processes to help prevent sexual misconduct from occurring, promote accountability among licensees, and ensure that victims who report incidents receive the support they deserve. The reforms affect approximately 700,000 New Jersey licensees, including physicians, social workers and home health aides.
The Directive stems from a comprehensive review conducted by the Division to identify additional ways to improve how the professional boards and committees deal with issues relating to sexual misconduct.
“Patients and clients shouldn’t have to fear or second-guess the behavior of a licensed professional,” said Kaitlin A. Caruso, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “I commend the Boards for upholding their duty to protect the public’s wellbeing by holding accountable those who engage in sexual misconduct.”
Under the Final Consent Order, Dr. Renner is precluded from reapplying for his New Jersey license to practice medicine and surgery at any future time, and managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or provision of healthcare activities in the State. Dr. Renner also agreed to divest himself from any current and future financial interest in, or benefit derived from, the practice of medicine in New Jersey. The Board also assessed a civil penalty in the amount of $30,000, of which $10,000 is to be paid within 18 months. The remaining $20,000 will be suspended as long as Dr. Renner remains compliant with the terms and conditions of the Order.
Dr. Renner’s license has been suspended under an Interim Consent Order since June 25, 2019, pending the disposition of criminal charges against him, and he has been prohibited from entering his former medical practice during business hours when patients may be present.
Under the terms of the Final Consent Order, Dr. Singh is permanently barred from seeking a medical license or CDS registration in New Jersey, and must notify current patients of the cessation of his practice. The Board also assessed Dr. Singh costs in the amount of $10,000, and Dr. Singh agreed to divest himself from any current and future financial interest in, or benefit derived from, the practice of medicine in New Jersey.
In a Final Consent Order, filed on April 1, 2021, Dr. Tyshkov is permanently precluded from reapplying for his license to practice medicine in New Jersey, and must divest himself from any current and future financial interest in, or benefit derived from, the practice of medicine in the State.
Dr. Tyshkov’s medical license in New Jersey had been suspended since April 8, 2019 under an Interim Consent Order pending the outcome of the criminal case against him.
Dr. Renner, Dr. Singh, and Dr. Tyshkov are the latest physicians to have their licenses revoked by the Board of Medical Examiners for sexual misconduct in the workplace.
Since April 1, 2020, the occupational and professional boards have disciplined the following seventeen licensees for sexual misconduct in a professional setting, in addition to the three disciplinary actions announced today:
- Andres Vinuela, License to practice medicine and surgery suspended for a period of three years on March 11, 2021, after allegedly engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with a patient. The suspension is retroactive to July 15, 2019, when the board-certified psychiatrist stopped practicing.
- Chikezie J. Aguh, License to practice medicine and surgery temporarily suspended on February 11, 2021, pending the disposition of criminal charges for the alleged sexual assault of a female patient at his Somerset practice.
- Iradj Sharim, License to practice medicine and surgery permanently revoked on August 14, 2020, for inappropriate behavior during the physical examination of a female patient at his former Trenton practice.
- Daniel Davenport, License to practice psychology permanently revoked on September 14, 2020, for engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient beginning when she was 17 years old.
- Edmondo A. DiPaolo, License to practice as a licensed practical nurse temporarily suspended on May 9, 2020, pending the disposition of criminal charges for the alleged sexual assault of a disabled child for whom he was the legal caregiver.
- Elliot Z. Halberstam, License to practice social work permanently revoked on November 2, 2020, after pleading guilty to coercing and enticing a client under the age of 18 to engage in illegal sexual activity while providing the victim child therapy services.
- Tara Cardinale, License to practice social work permanently revoked on September 30, 2020 for engaging in criminal sexual contact with a teenage student she was counseling.
- Alexa Grayson, License to practice as an associate counselor suspended for a minimum of five years on December 7, 2020, after testifying before the Committee that she shared a personal relationship with a client and engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship with another client.
- Molly Wilson, Certification to practice as an alcohol and drug counselor suspended on January 25, 2021, pending further investigation and action by the Committee for allegedly engaging in an intimate sexual relationship with a client at the addiction treatment center where she worked in Burlington County.
- Michael A. Edwards, Certification to practice as a certified homemaker-home health aide temporarily suspended on June 22, 2020, pending the disposition of criminal charges for the alleged inappropriate touching of an 84-year old patient who suffers from dementia.
- Dominque Hernandez, License to practice massage and bodywork therapy temporarily suspended on February 22, 2021, pending the disposition of criminal charges for alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a client during a massage therapy session.
- Nikolay Nikiforov, License to practice massage and bodywork therapy temporarily suspended on January 29, 2021, pending the disposition of his criminal matter for inappropriate conduct with a client during a massage therapy session at Exhale Day Spa in Atlantic City.
- Shaka Belfon, License to practice massage and bodywork therapy permanently revoked on January 12, 2021, for inappropriate conduct with a client during a massage therapy session.
- Michael Palma, License to practice massage and bodywork therapy permanently revoked on September 17, 2020, for inappropriate conduct with a client during a massage therapy session at Elements Massage in Cherry Hill.
- John R. Popper, License to practice massage and bodywork therapy permanently revoked on July 21, 2020 for engaging in inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact with a female client during a massage session at a Hand and Stone spa in Somers Point.
- Asad Aliyev, License to practice massage and bodywork therapy permanently revoked on June 23, 2020, for allegedly touching a female client inappropriately during a massage therapy session at a Hand and Stone spa in Allendale.
- Edward Raskin, License to practice acupuncture permanently revoked on September 24, 2020, following his criminal conviction for sexually assaulting a patient during an acupuncture treatment session.
Deputy Attorney General Michael Antenucci, of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section within the Division of Law, represented the State in the Renner matter. Deputy Attorney General Michelle Mikelberg of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section represented the State in the Singh matter. Deputy Attorney General Cristina Ramundo of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section within the Division of Law, represented the State in the Tyshkov matter.
Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted investigations in these cases.
Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 973-504-6200 to request a complaint form. For multilingual information about filing sexual misconduct complaints, you may visit the dedicated page on the Division’s website.
The mission of the Division of Consumer Affairs, within the Department of Law and Public Safety, is to protect the public from fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and professional misconduct in the sale of goods and services in New Jersey through education, advocacy, regulation and enforcement. The Division pursues its mission through its 51 professional and occupational boards that oversee 720,000 licensees in the state, its Regulated Business section that oversees 60,000 NJ registered businesses, as well as through its Office of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Securities, Charities Registration section, Office of Weights and Measures, and Legalized Games of Chance section.