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A south Florida podiatrist has been arrested for allegedly committing sexual battery on a patient earlier this year.
Dr. Saul Lipsman, 77, was jailed on charges of sexual assault on Friday, according to online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com.
The victim, a 61-year-old woman who lives on Long Island, first reported Lipsman to police on March 29.
She had been experiencing pain in her foot while visiting her elderly parents in south Florida and her parents recommended their podiatrist, Lipsman. She made an appointment and was seen on Friday, March 11 in his Lake Worth office, where she told police Lipsman “gave her an injection [in her back], which made the pain go away,” per a probable cause affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.
Lipsman than personally followed up on her cell phone on Saturday morning, telling the woman that he had just gotten a new cream that could be beneficial for her condition. Her father drove her to Lipsman's empty office around 3:00 p.m. and Lipsman allegedly instructed him to remain in the waiting room.
Once inside an examination room, she told detectives that Lipsman instructed her to lie face down on the table, removed her shirt and bra and began applying cream to her shoulders and then her lower back, where she’d received the injection — pulling her sweatpants and underwear down in the process.
The victim “did not think anything of it, because it felt good at the time,” according to case court documents.
“She then turned over,” the affidavit stated. “When she did so, her bra was up and her breasts were exposed. He then began putting the cream down her hip area and on her inner thigh close to her vaginal area. While he was doing this, he was giving her a medical explanation for her pain stating that everything in the body was connected and how her hips were not aligned.”
The woman told investigators that Lipsman then penetrated her vagina with his fingers while he continued to talk — and at one point, “also spat on her vagina,” detectives wrote in case filings.
“She had this sick feeling and felt totally paralyzed,” the affidavit states. “He then proceeded to move up and touched her breasts before trying to kiss her breasts and lips. This is when she reacted and told him to get off and she got off the table. She got dressed and left the room.”
Before departing, the woman alleged that Lipsman “offered to do the same thing the next day.” The woman said he called her cell phone the following day but she did not pick up.
According to police, while in the vehicle on the way home, the victim told them her father asked her what happened because she was “white as a ghost,” and she opened a door and threw up. She then said she disclosed to her father that Lipsman had allegedly “touched her in between her legs and kissed her on her breasts.”
While investigating the Long Island victim’s complaint, authorities learned that another patient had also reported Lipsman to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office in 2014 for touching her inappropriately. In that case, the woman had been seeing Lipsman for roughly a year after fracturing her left toe and knee and to alleviate lower back pain.
The now-73-year-old woman told police at the time that she had visited Lipsman’s office on Feb. 12, 2014 and, after getting situated in an examination room, Lipsman allegedly asked her nurse's aide to leave the room. She claimed that Lipsman then assaulted her.
“Complainant who was sitting on the exam bed was told to stand up while holding the bed rail and bent forward,” the affidavit alleged. “[Lipsman] stood behind complainant while placing his bare hand underneath her shirt and started touching her from the stomach area and onto her breast area and shoulder area. Doctor then went from her spine down to her buttocks at which time she felt something rising and hitting between her buttocks. Complainant believed the doctor had an erection.”
The victim, who became “emotional” while recounting the incident to authorities, said she confronted Lipsman, who told her he was “examining her for other unknown injuries she probably was not aware of.”
“At this time, complainant felt this behavior was strange for a foot doctor to be touching a patient all over her body without permission and question his behavior,” charging documents added.
The woman has since had a stroke and told police in an interview this year that she has trouble recalling eight years ago.
Investigators interviewed Lipsman at his office in July. Under questioning, the Florida foot surgeon alllegedly denied touching the woman inappropriately. Lipsman instead insisted that the woman had remained completely dressed and he had explained as she sat on the exam table how to put the cream on her ankle. He also alleged that the victim got “irate” with him after he refused to provide her with a liter of cough medicine containing codeine.
Police then interviewed the woman's father who said she'd been in the room for nearly 45 minutes, was hysterical in the waiting room after the exame and had told him the whole story after she left, but refused to allow him to confront Lipsman. Her father also told police that, after the woman refused to answer Lipsman's calls on Sunday, Lipsman called him to say he "wanted to see her again."
Police then discovered that a third victim, currentlt age 57, had reported Lispman to police in 2016 for sexually assaulting her after treating her for an infected toenail.
In an August interview, the third victim alleged that he had removed the toenail after which she mentioned having back pain. Lipsman allegedly told her that, if she returned to the office after 5:00 p.m., he could help her.
She returned with 93-year-old mother and son, and found the office empty. She insisted her mother come into the exam room, but said Lipsman arranged her face-down in an exam chair out of her mother's view.
“She stated at some point he lowered her pants,” the affidavit stated. “She said he then had her turn around and she had both of her hands to her side on the armrest of this chair. [The victim] said Dir. Lipsman came close to her hand and placed his private part on top of her hand. She turned her hand immediately and he turned it back to have her palm facing up. He again had her touch his private part. She said he did this a couple of times.”
The woman, who noted her mother was also present in the examination room at the time, accused Lipsman of standing her up, grabbing her by the waist and “thrusting” at her.
She said told her mother and son after they left but refused her son's request to confront the doctor. She did, however, report him to the police.
Lipsman is only charged with the assault of the first woman.
Lipsman was booked into a Palm Beach County jail on Oct. 21 and was released the following day on a $10,000 bond. He’s yet to enter a plea.
Lipsman’s legal team, led by Gregory Salnick and Michael Salnick, repeated Lipsman's claim that the incident in which he has been charged never happened.
"Dr. Lipsman will plead not guilty and fight these charges vigorously," Lipsman’s defense lawyer Michael Salnick told Oxygen.com. "He has enjoyed an excellent reputation in this community for over 30 years and has the continuing support of his patients and family. Anything else to be said will be done in court.”
Lipsman, an independent physician, is listed as a member of the medical staff at Tenet Healthcare’s Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. A spokesperson for Tenet, however, clarified that Lipsman isn’t employed or paid by the medical network, nor does he have an office at the hospital.
“He’s not our employee and he’s an independent physician and the incident did not happen on any hospital property,” Shelly Weiss, a spokesperson for Tenet Healthcare told Oxygen.com on Wednesday morning. “It really had nothing to do with us.”
Lipsman is scheduled back in court on Dec. 1, additional court records show. A judge ordered that he surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim pending trial.
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