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Twin Cities plastic surgeon who lost his license over sexual assault allegations is charged with sex crimes


Prosecutors filed sex crime charges on Tuesday against a Twin Cities plastic surgeon who lost his license to practice after state regulators ruled he assaulted multiple female clients on dates as early as 2008.

Christopher Kovanda, 56, of Minneapolis, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with two felony fifth-degree felony sexual conduct charges stemming from assaults in 2019 and 2021.

The criminal complaint lists five other Kovanda clients who alleged he assaulted them during office visits, either in Edina or Minneapolis. Prosecutors said in the complaint that they intended to include the women’s allegations in their case against Kovanda in order to “prove [his]a common pattern or plan of inappropriately touching women who came to see him as patients under the guise of providing medical care. »

The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice disclosed in a statement in August that Christopher Kovanda was no longer licensed to practice medicine in Minnesota due to “conduct with a patient that is sexual or may reasonably be construed by the patient as sexually, or in any verbal behavior that is seductive or sexually humiliating to a patient. »

The board, which had suspended the 56-year-old doctor’s license in March, also imposed a civil penalty of $15,360 to cover the costs of the agency’s investigation and related board proceedings.

Kovanda’s last clinic was located on Excelsior Avenue in Minneapolis, and he previously practiced in Maple Grove, Edina’s 50th and France retail district as Kovanda Plastic Surgery and before that as a partner of Midwest Plastic Surgery in the Southdale Medical Building, also in Edina. .

The Star Tribune left a message on Tuesday for one of Kovanda’s lawyers, Nicole Brand, asking for a response to her client who has been charged for the first time with a sex crime in connection with the charges of at least seven women spanning over 14 years.

Previously, Brand said “we maintain that the allegations are not true, and Dr. Kovanda is weighing options regarding this decision.”

“I am glad to see that Dr. Kovanda has been criminally charged and that the doctor-patient relationship will not act as a shield. I also applaud the victims for coming forward, without shame or indifference, their stories will inspire other victims of sexual assault.”

Attorney Jeff Montpetit is representing a Kovanda accuser who reached a confidential settlement with Kovanda and is not the basis of Tuesday’s charges.

“I’m glad to see that Dr. Kovanda has been criminally charged and that the doctor-patient relationship will not be used as a shield,” Montpetit said. “I also applaud the victims for coming forward, without shame or indifference, their stories will inspire other victims of sexual assault.”

According to Tuesday’s charges:

A woman told the medical board that in November 2019 Kovanda pressed her groin against her feet as her legs were lifted, then ordered the nurse to leave the exam room in Edina before pushing her groin against his underwear.

A second woman surrendered to Minneapolis police and said Kovanda brought her to a room at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in January 2021, ordered her to remove all of her clothes and ran her hands along her body and said, “‘Ooh, you’re going to be perfect.’ “

During a follow-up visit in June 2021, according to the woman, Kovanda was aroused as he ran his groin along her bare bottom. He was also sexually aggressive towards her during follow-up visits.

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