SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A former, long-time Indian Health Services doctor who worked on the Yankton Sioux Reservation will spend 10 years in federal prison for sexually abusing his patients.
Dr. Pedro Ibarra-Perocier pleaded guilty in August to five counts of sexually abusing several adult Native American women patients.
Ibarra-Perocier worked at the Indian Health Services Clinic from 2006 to 2018. He admitted that the abuse occurred during medical exams of five victims over the course of 11 years, without the women’s consent. Monday’s sentencing was nearly a year after he was originally charged.
Three of his victims testified at the sentencing hearing that he withheld opioid pain medications and medical treatment unless they performed sexual acts. The women testified they felt forced to comply and provide sexual favors in order to get their medication for fear of withdrawal and pain.
One victim testified that he encouraged her to sell her opioid prescription medication to get money and told her where she could buy urine to pass a pain management drug screening.
Ibarra-Perocier did not testify on his own behalf, but his attorney described him as incredibly loving, sweet, and always having a smile on his face, and a very caring doctor.
Judge Karen Schreier called him a sexual predator who used his position to sexually abuse vulnerable patients. None of the women thought anyone would believe them and the abuse was not uncovered until one of the victims told an IHS mental health therapist that she was having suicidal thoughts because of it. Judge Schreier said while the women were vulnerable, they were strong to stand up and say what had happened to them in court.
Ibarra-Perocier will have to register as a sex offender and pay a $35,000 fine. He is ordered to report to federal prison on January 10, 2022.