‘Phony’ doctor faces possible murder charges

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Prosecutors are now seeking murder and sexual assault charges against a man accused of running a bogus medical practice in Las Vegas.

After hearing new details of the case, a Justice Court judge set bail for Rick Van Thiel at $1 million.

The I-Team’s Glen Meek broke the story of the unlicensed medical clinic and now has the exclusive details about the potential murder charge.

Van Thiel who has admitted not having a license to practice medicine maintains he has harmed no one.

Van Thiel listened to his bail hearing through headphones to help him hear better.  He was arrested Sept. 30 following a a raid by Metro Police and the FBI in northeast Las Vegas.

Investigators found evidence Van Thiel was working as an unlicensed doctor and treating everything from cancer to STD’s.

In court Wednesday morning, prosecutors said they would ask a grand jury to consider a murder charge against Van Thiel following the death of a young AIDS patient Van Thiel was treating.

“This child — or this young man — succumbed to AIDS based of the fact that he was not getting proper treatment,” said prosecutor Marc Giacomo. 

And prosecutors said they were also pursing a sexual assault charge against Van Thiel after he allegedly told a woman seeking an abortion he needed to commit a sex act with her in order to complete the procedure.

Later, when the woman began hemorrhaging, prosecutors say Van Thiel told her to keep quiet.

“Go to the hospital, but don’t tell them that I did anything with you. Just tell them this is a natural miscarriage which is happening to you,” Giacomo said.

That is the first of 87 victims.

When Van Thiel was given an opportunity to comment, he seemed shaky and had trouble speaking.

“Your honor, Mr. Van Thiel appreciates the opportunity you offer to allow him to speak,  but I don’t think he has anything to say,” said Steve Lisk, Van Thiel’s attorney.

At one point, Van Thiel nearly fell down causing the judge to question if he was okay.

Van Thiel later recovered enough to comment on the new allegations.

“That’s not to be taken as fact. There’s lots of speculation,” Van Thiel said.

Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman said the details of the case “sickened” her and set Van Thiel’s bail at seven figures.

“I think you’re a danger to the community, and I think it would be best if you stayed in jail. So, I set your bail at $1 million,” Zimmerman said.

Van Thiel’s public defender called the bail amount excessive considering the murder and sexual assault charges have not been brought, at this point.

Van Thiel was scheuled for a preliminary hearing on the Oct. 20 but that will likely not take place if a grand jury is hearing the case.

 

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