Encino doctor accused of sexually assaulting female patients

- A doctor with a medical practice in the Encino area is due in court at the end of the month on sex-related charges involving two female patients, but police said Tuesday they suspect there are other alleged victims who haven't come forward.

Michael Howard Popkin, 67, is scheduled to be arraigned at the Van Nuys courthouse Dec. 30 on one felony count each of sexual battery by restraint and sexual exploitation by a physician, along with two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery.

Popkin told the Los Angeles Times that the allegations "are not true.'' He said he was arrested at his medical office on Dec. 5 and taken away in handcuffs.

Popkin, who was released the following day on $65,000 bond, "is accused of sexually assaulting multiple female patients in his office during medical examinations,'' according to a statement issued by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The crimes which which he is charged occurred between June 2014 and July 25 of this year, according to the criminal complaint.

The LAPD suspects Popkin of sexual assaults dating back to 2001 and urged other possible victims to contact them. He has been licensed to practice medicine in the state of California since 1977, according to police.

"I recognize the difficulty for many sex crimes victims reluctant to report what happened to them, especially if the perpetrator is in a position of trust, like a doctor, and a respected member of the community,'' said LAPD Detective Ninette Toosbuy of the West Valley Sex Crimes Unit.

"It is our hope to identify any other victims who have been sexually assaulted by Dr. Popkin,'' Toosbuy said.

Anyone with information on the case was urged to call Toosbuy at (818) 374-7718; or (877) LAPD-247.

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