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Doctor’s license suspended

BRADENTON — A doctor who was arrested on nine counts of battery for inappropriately touching patients has had his medical license suspended, according to the Department of Health.

Dr. Gangadhararao Chapalamadugu, known to his patients as C.G. Rao, had an emergency suspension placed on his medical license recently, according to the Department of Health Web site.

The Florida surgeon general can enter an emergency order suspending a doctor’s license if the physician is deemed a threat to the community.

Eulinda Smith, spokesman for the Department of Health, also said in a previous interview the surgeon general as a matter of routine investigates claims of sexual misconduct for possible emergency suspensions. “We take these things very seriously,” she said.

Rao, 61, had no record of complaints with the Florida Department of Health, according to the Web site. He specializes in internal medicine and pulmonary disease.

More allegations were made against Rao, but no arrest charges were made. Investigators at Bradenton Police Department forwarded the charges to the state attorney’s office.

Rao, who has practiced medicine in the community for more than 30 years, announced in court May 28 he would close his practice until the case moves forward. His office remains closed.

Mark Lipinski, a criminal defense attorney representing Rao on the criminal charges, said the state attorney’s office is still reviewing the charges.

Lipinski said Rao maintains his innocence.

Police began investigating Rao after a patient left his office at Riverside Medical Center, 300 Riverside Drive E., on May 8 and reported he allegedly groped and placed his mouth on her chest, according to a Bradenton Police Department arrest report. Investigators planted a hidden camera and microphone on the woman for a follow-up appointment when she went to get medication. Rao allegedly apologized for the earlier incident. Other women have since come forward making similar allegations, according to police.

Rao did not return a phone message left on his home phone Saturday afternoon.

Beth Burger, criminal justice reporter, can be reached at 708-7919.