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Pasco osteopath accused of drugging and assaulting female patients

Dr. Daniel McBath of Dade City says the accusations against him are “retaliation.”
Dr. Daniel McBath of Dade City says the accusations against him are “retaliation.”
Published Dec. 24, 2014

For more than a decade, Dade City's Dr. Daniel P. McBath has been recognized for his service to the community, particularly his work with Pasco County's sports teams. Thirteen years ago, the Florida Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians named him its Physician of the Year.

But 10 years ago, according to an order filed by state health officials, he drugged a female medical student and assaulted her while she was unconscious. When she awoke, he told her they had just "made love," state health officials said.

McBath did the same thing to two other women — his patients — between 2009 and this year, according to the 34-page emergency order filed by the state Department of Health.

As of Friday, McBath, 52, is no longer allowed to treat female patients at all. Meanwhile, the state has launched further disciplinary proceedings against him.

"None of it is true," McBath said in an interview Tuesday.

He also said he has not been seeing patients for the past eight months because of what he called "major cardiac issues." He blamed the accusations lodged against him on "retaliation" for things he could not yet discuss openly.

"It's very, very pitiful what's going on," said McBath, who sold his clinic at 13933 17th St. in Dade City to Bayfront Health Dade City in January for $2.5 million. He has not been charged with any crime.

A 1990 graduate of Nova Southeastern University, McBath aided his father, popular physician Donald "Doctor Don" McBath, in working with Pasco High's sports teams before the elder McBath's death in 2001, and continued afterward on his own.

Three years after his father's death, the first complaint was lodged against him, according to the emergency order from Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong. In the summer of 2004, a 26-year-old medical student working as an intern for McBath asked him to show her a procedure to remove varicose veins.

At his suggestion, they went to her apartment, where he gave her an injection of what he said was an antibiotic, and she said it made her feel "woozy," the complaint says. Before long, he was kissing her face and exposing himself to her, asking if she "wanted some of this," before she lost consciousness, the state contends.

After she woke up and McBath told her what had happened, she went to a hospital and talked to law enforcement officers. A urine sample showed she'd been injected with powerful sedatives known as benzodiazepines, not an antibiotic. When police talked to McBath, he said the student had come on to him but "nothing happened." No charges were ever filed.

The second woman, 35, was McBath's patient from 2009 to January of this year. She weighed 135 pounds and was 5 feet 7, and McBath diagnosed her as suffering from obesity and hormonal imbalances, along with anxiety. He prescribed Xanax and the opiate painkiller hydrocodone, according to state health officials. After injecting her with "unknown substances," he had sex with her, the report says.

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At one point, he injected a substance directly into her vagina and told her it would give her a stronger sex drive, state health officials said. He also asked her to rub herself with a cigar, according to the order, and she said she saw him buy and snort cocaine.

The last patient to complain about him saw him in April, around the time McBath said he stopped seeing patients. She said she needed treatment for a urinary tract infection. She said he injected her with something later identified as the sedative Valium, the order said.

When she confronted him later, he denied having any sexual contact with her, but asked her not to talk to law enforcement, the surgeon general's order says.

"Dr. McBath demonstrated predatory behavior," the order states. "The number of patients that have reported the sexual misconduct and administration of substances without consent indicates that Dr. McBath's conduct will continue." That's why it had to be stopped on an emergency basis, officials concluded.

Times researcher John Martin and staff writer Molly Moorhead contributed to this report. Contact Craig Pittman at craig@tampabay.com. Follow @craigtimes.

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