April 30, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt
The woman who filed a criminal complaint against Lake Charles obstetrician gynecologist Dr. Peter Lafuria told investigators that during an examination she saw the doctor take pictures of her without her permission.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso told the media at an afternoon news conference, "Last Monday we had a victim come in who felt like she had had some inappropriate pictures taken of her and wanted to file a criminal complaint."
Search warrants were executed on Lafuria's home, office and car. And while numerous images were seized along with cameras and computer equipment Mancuso admits many of those images may not be easily linked to specific women. "So far the majority of the pictures that have been viewed by detectives are unidentifiable."
However he says some images may allow the identification of other potential victims. "We do have some photographs that are identifiable and there is an office worker in that particular office that has agreed to cooperate with us and help us to identify the pictures. In fact that will probably bring more victims to us."
After an arrest warrant was issued Monday morning Lafuria was allowed to turn himself in at the Calcasieu Jail where he was booked on one count of video voyeurism. Mancuso says the investigation is likely to take at least a couple of months. "We have hundreds of disks and cd's. Each one of those contain hundreds of pictures on them."
After being finger printed, photographed and processed at the jail, Lafuria was released on 25-thousand dollars bond. His attorney Glen Vamvoras says they are cooperating fully with investigators. "We certainly don't want to convict anyone before the investigation is complete. And we think that when it's over that all of this is going to turn out fine for Dr. Lafuria." Reporter: "So, to what extent are you saying he did nothing wrong." Vamvoras: "I'm saying right now that he did nothing wrong."
For now Vamvoras says Lafuria will not practice medicine. "We made an agreement that we would not see any other patients and would suspend his practice while this investigation is ongoing."