Ex-Indian Health Service doctor faces sex abuse charges
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A former Indian Health Service physician in South Dakota faces federal charges that he sexually abused Native American patients.
Pedro Ibarra-Perocier, 58, of Wagner was indicted by a federal grand jury Feb. 4 on four counts of sexual abuse and four counts of abusive sexual contact involving his patients, according to U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Ron Parsons.
Ibarra-Perocier pleaded not guilty Thursday. Court records show he was released without bond but had to turn in his passport, the Rapid City Journal reported.
Ibarra-Perocier previously worked at the IHS clinic in Wagner on the Yankton Reservation. The allegations involve four adults between January 2014 and August 2018.
The indictment does not explain where or how Ibarra-Perocier allegedly abused his patients, but it says he engaged in sexual acts and contact with patients by threatening them and making them fearful. A trial date has not been set.
Earlier this week, a former IHS pediatrician was sentenced for sexually abusing Native American children while on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Stanley Patrick Weber, 71, of Spearfish was sentenced in federal court to five consecutive life sentences and ordered to pay $800,000 in fines.
In a statement Friday, the IHS said it has “made important strides to address and prevent sexual abuse in healthcare facilities and strengthen policies on patient protections and staff reporting responsibilities. Patients and employees of the Indian Health Service should never face sexual harassment or abuse.”