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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 16, 2021

Former Indian Health Service Doctor Sentenced to 120 Months of Imprisonment for Abusive Sexual Contact

Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Wagner, South Dakota, man formerly employed as a physician at the Wagner Indian Health Service Clinic was sentenced on five counts of Abusive Sexual Contact on December 13, 2021, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier. 

Pedro Ibarra-Perocier, age 60, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, a $35,000 fine, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $500.

Ibarra-Perocier was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 4, 2020.  He pled guilty to five counts of Abusive Sexual Contact on August 26, 2021.

The conviction stemmed from several incidents that occurred between approximately February 2007 and August 2018, when Ibarra-Perocier was a licensed physician practicing at the Wagner Indian Health Service Clinic and sexually abused five Native American women who came to see him at the clinic for medical appointments.  Ibarra-Perocier frequently locked the door to the examination room before he sexually abused those women.  Ibarra-Perocier often touched and rubbed their breasts and genitals, either directly or through their clothing, without their consent and when there was no medical reason to do so.  Ibarra-Perocier also forced some of his victims to touch his genitals, either directly or through his clothing.   Ibarra-Perocier threatened or placed some of them in fear that they would not receive the medications or medical care they needed unless they complied with his sexual demands in the clinic examination rooms.

“Dr. Ibarra-Perocier abused his position of trust as a physician to sexually abuse five Native American women—his patients—all in the examination rooms at the Indian Health Service Clinic where he practiced,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Dennis Holmes.  “Because these five women bravely came forward, this predator was held accountable for his actions.”

“Today’s sentence ensures that the defendant will not be in a position to harm his patients any longer, and women in the community can once again seek medical care without fear of becoming a victim,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Paul.  “Every medical professional takes an oath to do no harm, and I want to thank the FBI agents and analysts who worked side by side with the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General to ensure that the defendant was held accountable for his actions and that his victims received the justice they deserved.” 

“Dr. Ibarra-Perocier’s actions were unconscionable— he violated his position of trust to abuse vulnerable patients at an Indian Health Service clinic and threatened to withhold needed medical care if his victims did not comply.  These illegal acts will never be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Curt L. Muller of HHS Office of Inspector General.  “We remain committed to aggressively investigating corrupt health professionals and protecting patients across the country.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.

Ibarra-Perocier has been allowed to self-surrender to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons by January 10, 2022.  

 

 

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Updated December 16, 2021