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Ventura County

Oxnard surgeon facing charges for sexually assaulting patients dies awaiting trial

OXNARD, Calif. – A plastic surgeon facing dozens of charges for sexually assaulting his patients died prior to the conclusion of his case.

Dr. David Michelson, 74, of Newbury Park died in an L.A.-area hospital on Friday, March 5, according to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Michelson, a plastic surgeon with his own private practice, was facing 37 counts of sexual assault, allegedly committed against his patients.

Michelson was arrested in August 2020 and after word of his arrest was made public, numerous women came forward to accuse him of assault. Most of his alleged victims were Spanish-speaking women from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, specifically in Santa Maria. One victim said in court that Michelson "digitally penetrated and orally copulated her breast."

Michelson had appeared in court in January and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

As part of the investigation, Michelson was forced to surrender his medical license through January 2022.

It was not the first time Michelson had his license suspended or faced accusations of sexual misconduct. In 1985 he was convicted in federal court of unlawfully selling prescriptions for controlled substances and selling illegal narcotics. His license was revoked by the Medical Board of California and then reinstated in 1991. He was again placed on probation by the Medical Board after he admitted to engaging in sexual misconduct with two patients and "inappropriately touch[ing] a coworker."

At the time of his death, the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County District Attorney's Office were still investigating additional allegations that had not yet resulted in formal charges.

The DA's office described allegations against Michelson as "prolific... assaultive behavior," and said there may still be additional victims who have not come forward.

Any additional victims who are in need of assistance or support services are encouraged to contact the Ventura County Family Justice Center at 805-652-7655.

Crime / Santa Barbara - South County / Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County
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Travis Schlepp

Travis Schlepp is the Digital Content Director for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Travis, click here.

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