LA Plastic Surgeon Accused of Secretly Filming Patients

Police say a woman brought them a camera she found in the doctor's office in the East Medical Tower adjacent to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

By Samantha Tata and Patrick Healy
|  Friday, Aug 3, 2012  |  Updated 10:11 AM PDT
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Dr. Lance Everett Wyatt -- who calls himself

Patrick Healy

Dr. Lance Everett Wyatt -- who calls himself "the plastic surgeon to the stars" -- was arrested for allegedly videotaping female patients after they had undressed for medical examinations. Law enforcement and the medical board had been investigating Wyatt for a year before proceeding with the arrest. Patrick Healy reports from West Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on August 2, 2012.

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A Los Angeles doctor was arrested Thursday on suspicion of secretly filming at least two disrobed patients and committing sexual battery against another patient, according to the Medical Board of California.

Lance Everett Wyatt, M.D., has been charged with two counts each of unlawful filming of another and unlawful viewing of another; and one count each of sexual battery on a patient and unlawful use of force and violence on another, officials said in a statement released Thursday.

All counts are misdeamanors.

Wyatt's office was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.

The investigation into Wyatt began about a year ago after the Medical Board received a complaint that the doctor secretly filmed a patient while she was naked during a follow-up visit, officials said.

Police say a woman brought them a camera she found in the doctor's office in the East Medical Tower adjacent to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Then the Medical Board, LAPD and the Los Angeles City Attorney discovered another alleged victim.

The rules are clear for doctors to photograph patients, according to NBC4's Medical Editor, Dr. Bruce Hensel.

"There are reasons for plastic surgeons to take photos, before or after, or for computer images to show you how you'll look," says Dr. Hensel, "but in those cases, you need to give consent, or it's not appropriate, and it's not legal."

The 42-year-old Wyatt -- who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery -- boasts an accomplished practice on his website, citing a Harvard University education, awards from UCLA and the National Institute of Health and several patient testimonials.

"I was really impressed with his personality. He's extremely friendly, treats you like a friend, not a patient," one woman said in a testimonial. "He goes out of his way to call you back whenever you need it."

Wyatt is being held on $50,000 bail. If convicted, he faces two years in county jail.

Clarification: The wording of this story's subtitle has been changed to reflect that the East Medical Tower is adjacent to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and not a part of the campus.

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