Updated 11/16/2012 01:57 PM
Doctor to serve prison time in Cambodia for child sex abuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The New York State Department of Health is raising questions about a conviction against a former Upstate University Medical Center doctor who is currently serving prison time in Cambodia.
James D'Agostino, 56, was found guilty in Cambodia of child prostitution and exploitation and was sentenced to four years in prison. Authorities there said D'Agostino sexually abused a child while living in the country for two years and working with staff at the National Pediatric Hospital. But according to the health department's findings, victims who testified against D'Agostino later said they were coerced into doing so by police. The prosecution also pushed to have the charges dropped but D’Agostino was convicted.
D'Agostino could not be present for the State Health Department's hearing on the matter. Despite their questions, the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct decided to suspend the doctor's license. The decision was based on the fact he was convicted of a crime in another country that would have also been considered a crime here in the United States.
But when he is released from prison, should D’Agostino wish to practice medicine in New York State, he will be allowed to appear before the state board for Professional Medical Conduct to offer any mitigating evidence on his own behalf.