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Former South Dakota IHS Doctor Admits to Sexually Abusing Five Patients

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Indian Health Service on the Yankton Reservation

 

A  doctor who worked for the Indian Health Service on the Yankton Reservation has admitted to sexually abusing five patients over an 11-year period.

Dr. Pedro Ibarra-Perocierpleaded guilty last month to five counts of abusive sexual contact. Eight other charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.

The doctor abused Native American women after locking their exam rooms at the IHS clinic in Wagner, according to the factual basis document he signed.

Ibarra-Perocier joined the clinic in 2006 and began abusing patients the next year.

The IHS banned Ibarra-Perocier from practicing in 2018 after a patient reported abuse, the Wall Street Journal previously reported. The clinic forwarded the report to law enforcement, and the IHS began an internal investigation. But Ibarra-Perocier was eventually allowed to work at the administrative offices in Aberdeen.

The Wagner clinic was Ibarra-Perocier’s first assignment at the IHS, the agency said. His employment ended in 2019.

The IHS is making changes to its sexual abuse policies after the Wall Street Journal and government investigations found it lacked proper prevention and reporting measures.

The investigations were triggered after the newspaper and PBS reported about another abusive doctor. Stanley Patrick Weber, a former pediatrician based on the Pine Ridge Reservation, was allowed to switch clinics after credible reports of child sexual abuse. The doctor is serving a life sentence after being convicted of the abuse.

Ibarra-Perocier will be sentenced November 15 at the federal court in Sioux Falls. He faces up to 10 years in prison and must register as a sex offender.