Former Dr. Karl Fazeka age 79 arrived at Clark County District Court on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 to undergo sentencing for charges he acquired in February of 2010. Fazekas received his medical license from the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners in 1977. Fazeka practiced internal medicine as a family practitioner and specialized in anatomic and clinical pathology. He started practicing medicine in Las Vegas when he received his medical license in 1977 until May 26, 2010 when the medical board suspended his medical license because of charges that were brought upon him in February 2010. Click here to view the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiner’s vs. Karl Fazeka, M.D. document.
The complaints that were filed against Karl Fazeka in 2010 came from two separate women. In 2008 at Sunrise Hospital a 59 year old woman who was complaining of nausea said Dr. Fazeka performed an examination on her. During the examination she said that the doctor touched her breast inappropriately and inserted his finger in her vagina. The complaint also included a 75 year old woman, who in June of 2009 was admitted to Sunshine Hospital suffering from congestive heart failure. Dr. Fazeka was accused of inappropriately fondling her breast and then moving his hand to her pubic area. The woman said she told him to stop and tried to call for help with the call button, but said, the doctor moved it away from her prior to the assault.
When the doctor was charged in 2010 by Las Vegas police, the initial charges on six counts included sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and open and gross lewdness. The counts were both felony and misdemeanor charges. After the doctor was arrested, he pled not guilty and bonded out of jail. Fazeka remained out of jail during the long drawn out court process due to delay’s asked for by Fazeka’s attorney Tom Pitaro. Pitaro asked the court for a delay because his firm was dealing with a backlog of cases. The court approved Pitaro’s request for the delay. There were also the usual postponements that happen throughout most court cases. Between the two this case has been tied up in the court system for four years.
For one of the victims the long drawn out court process has been devastating to her. Margaret Underwood was the 75 year old lady who was admitted to Sunshine Hospital with congestive heart failure. In 2012 when Fazeka’s attorney asked for the delay due to a backlog of cases his firm had, Margaret Underwood spoke to a reporter as she recalled the night the incident happened. In tears Underwood spoke about how she wakes up at night in freight wondering if there is someone in the room with her.
As Fazeka awaited trial, he was ordered to reimburse the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners in the amount of $10,948 to cover the cost of the investigation the board had to do on Fazeka. Also ordered by the board, Fazeka will not be able to apply for a medical license again in the state of Nevada once his license expired in 2011. The board also found Fazeka guilty of two counts of “engaging in conduct that brings the medical profession into disrepute.” For these charges Fazeka was fined $5000.
In October of 2013 prosecutors and Fazeka agreed to a deal. The deal was that prosecutors would drop all charges but one. That charge would be a misdemeanor charge of nonsexual coercion. So instead of pleading not guilty and having the possibility of a lengthy trial and a longer sentence if found guilty. Fazeka would plea the Alford plea. The Alford plea means that Fazeka would not be admitting he is guilty and recognizing that the prosecution would be able to prove their case. Fazeka would also have to agree that he will no longer be allowed to practice medicine.
On Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Fazeka pled the Alford plea and was found guilty on the lesser charge of nonsexual coercion, which is a misdemeanor and was sentenced to 5 years probation.