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FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The medical license of Tamarac obstetrician Michael Benjamin was suspended indefinitely Saturday by the Florida Board of Medicine for failure to report the pregnancy of a 12-year-old patient as possible child abuse.
The pre-teen and her mother saw Benjamin in 2009, and when he inquired about the pregnancy, was told it was caused by consensual sex with a classmate. The mother said she wasn’t aware that he daughter was pregnant until just before she called for an appointment, and she wanted the daughter to have an abortion.
Dr Benjamin said he questioned the girl and did not doubt the story, and never reported the pregnancy even though state law requires reporting of all cases of sex for children under 16. The pregnancy was eventually reported by the girl’s regular doctor, and an investigation found she had been sexually abused by the mother’s boyfriend, who was jailed for 15 years as a result.
A proposed settlement with the state which would have seen Dr. Benjamin pay a $6 thousand fine was rejected by the Board of Medicine, which met in Tampa Saturday to consider the case, among other business.
Instead, the board suspended his license pending a further review by the board, and fined him $10 thousand. He was also ordered to take courses, and perform community service.
Michael Spicer, Dr. Benjamin’s attorney, said the Doctor would appeal the ruling.