The former director of a pain management clinic in Tarpon Springs was arrested Monday for the second time in connection to an ongoing investigation in which he is accused of coercing patients into performing sexual acts in order to get their prescription medication, according to police.
Christopher Ferguson, 53, stepped down from his position at Phoenix Medical Management Care Centers following his initial arrest in January. Additional complaints were lodged against him and authorities now have identified a total of six patients who Ferguson may have extorted for sexual favors, according to a news release from the Tarpon Springs Police Department. Police are working with the Drug Enforcement Agency in a joint investigation.
Ferguson previously faced one count of extortion pertaining to one patient. With the new allegations, he now faces five additional counts of extortion and two counts of attempted sexual battery, the release said.
Ferguson told patients they had tested positive for drugs such as cocaine and opioids, and he threatened to report the results to doctors and child services, according to police. The positive test results could lead to the patients being dropped from the clinic. Investigators say the patients told them they had not used the drugs in question.
In a police-controlled phone call on Jan. 12, Ferguson told the caller to meet him at the clinic after hours to discuss her test results, and he said he had set up the clinic’s massage room for the visit, according to a search warrant affidavit linked to the initial arrest.
Police have not released details about what led to the additional charges, but they did say they related to five additional accusers.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Detective Lara Scarpati with the Tarpon Springs Police Department.