Clinic worker threatened patient with failed drug test, tried to extort her for sex act, police say
TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - An employee at a pain management clinic in Pinellas County tried to extort a sex act from a patient by telling her she failed a drug test and threatening to have her children taken away, according to Tarpon Springs police.
Officers say the alleged victim called them for help, so they had her agree to meet the suspect after-hours where he was arrested, instead.
Detectives say Christopher Ferguson was the operations director at Phoenix Medical Management in Tarpon Springs, which they say is a pain management clinic.
Investigators say in early January, Ferguson called the female patient and told her she failed a drug screen. Then he threatened to withhold her medication, go to police, and call child protective services.
Christopher Ferguson has been charged with extortion
"She was really scared because she knew her drug results weren’t going to come back negative," said Major Frank Ruggiero, Tarpon Springs Police.
Detectives say he told the woman he could make the results go away if the woman performed a sex act on him.
"She reported it to us. [She] went to the pain management clinic after hours for the supposed sexual favors and that’s when we were waiting for him to show up," Major Ruggiero told FOX 13.
After they read him his rights, police say Ferguson admitted his actions were "unethical."
Detectives say the woman was terrified of losing her children and not getting the medications she needed.
Police say they’ve had two other victims come forward.
"Our message is: please come forward for the other victims involved," Ruggiero said.
Ferguson has been charged with extortion, but detectives say their investigation is not over.