A local dentist who allegedly videotaped his female employees changing in and out of their medical uniforms is facing a civil lawsuit in addition to a state jail felony charge of improper photography or video recording.
The lawsuit was filed last week in 40th District Court in Ellis County, less than two weeks after the arrest of Dr. Stephen C. Durbin.
The now former employees are represented by Waxahachie attorney Clay Jenkins, who has also filed for a temporary restraining order to prevent Durbin from “disposing, damaging or altering in any way the videotaping and recording devices, computers, storage devices, pornography, photographs, videos and or audios depicting partially nude or pornographic images or materials and or any pictures of the plaintiffs used in this matter and or involved in this incident.”
Waxahachie attorney Mark Griffith, who is representing Durbin on the criminal case, has described the allegations as “absolutely false.”
“This will either be dismissed or 12 good citizens of Ellis County will hear the truth of this case,” Griffith said in a statement after Durbin was arrested. “He’s got 30 years practice as a dentist. These accusations are absolutely false.”
The civil lawsuit indicates the eight women, who have a collective 85 years of experience working for Durbin, were required to wear medical uniforms provided by him and to change in and out of the scrubs at the office.
The lawsuit said the women found a hidden camera concealed on a shelf in their dressing room on or about Aug. 16 and took it to Radio Shack, which said it was a short-range camera capable of transmitting images to a computer screen.
Two of the employees confronted Durbin, “who admitted to filming and watching his employees,” according to the lawsuit, which says that Durbin later met with the employees as a group and “admitted to having a problem with voyeurism and pornography.”
That conversation was recorded, according to the lawsuit and the arrest affidavit issued in the criminal case.
The criminal investigation is being handled by the Ennis Police Department in coordination with the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office.
Durbin has represented Ward 5 on the Ennis City Commission since May 2000. Prior to that, he served several terms on the city’s planning and zoning commission.
According to the State Board of Dental Examiners’ Web site, Durbin graduated in 1983 from Baylor and has a private practice in general dentistry. His license has active status, according to the Web site, which indicates one prior disciplinary action.
Information received under an open records request by the Ennis Journal relating to the disciplinary action indicates the board found that Durbin “fell below the minimum standard of care in the diagnosis and treatment of an impacted maxillary right cuspid in (a patient), including the failure to refer the patient to a specialist in a timely manner.”
Durbin, who was reprimanded, was ordered to pay a $1,000 administrative fine and $2,899.94 in restitution, complete 12 hours of continuing education and pass a jurisprudence examination, according to the board’s April 2006 agreed settlement order.
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