EAST RUTHERFORD ACUPUNCTURIST'S LICENSE
PENDING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT HEARING
NEWARK- Attorney General Anne Milgram and Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman
announced today that the State Acupuncture Examining Board has found
that the unrestricted practice of acupuncturist Young Lee constitutes a clear
and imminent danger to the public and restricted his ability to see female patients.
Lee cannot see female patients without a Board-approved chaperone being present.
The action came after a five-hour hearing yesterday before the Board at its regularly
scheduled monthly meeting.
“Our licensing boards are disciplinary bodies and the investigation of complaints submitted by consumers is a priority,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said. “As in this matter, our boards will act to protect the public's health and well-being when the facts presented support such action.”
A complaint filed by the Attorney General asked the Board to temporarily suspend Young K. Lee's acupuncture license for engaging in sexual misconduct. The complaint alleged that Lee, who is a certified acupuncturist at Body Concepts Wellness Institute in East Rutherford, New Jersey, sexually molested a patient while providing her with acupuncture treatment. The complaint further alleged that Lee inappropriately touched/fondled the victim and also made sexual comments to her.
“Consumers should not hesitate to come forward and contact the Division whenever they believe a licensee has violated professional standards or committed improper actions,” Director Szuchman said. “We licensee nearly 500,000 individuals through our boards and each licensee is held accountable.”
The State Acupuncture Examining Board held a formal hearing to consider the Attorney General's application for interim sanctions pending a final hearing and determination by the Board.
Victim A.M. testified for over an hour before the Board and explained to the Board how she came to be Lee's client. A.M. sought Lee's care to deal with swelling in her legs and low energy. A.M. testified that Lee allegedly engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct. The alleged conduct included Lee removing his pants and asking A.M. to touch his penis.
Lee denied all the charges and testified at the hearing that all he did was treat A.M. with acupressure.
The Board found A.M.'s testimony more credible than Lee's and thus concluded that his unrestricted practice is a clear and imminent danger to the public. Based on that finding, the Board ordered that Lee must have a Board-approved chaperone (who also must be an acupuncturist) present when Lee sees any female patient. Additionally, Lee was ordered to undergo a psychosexual evaluation.
This matter will now be transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a full hearing on the charges, while the interim restrictions remain in place.
Deputy Attorneys General Jeri Warhaftig and Bindi Merchant filed the state's complaint and presented the case before the Board.
Consumers can file complaints with the Division of Consumer Affairs online at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov or by calling 800-242-5846 (within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.