Former pediatrician behind bars again, facing 3 counts of child molestation

MERCED, CA -- A former Merced pediatrician is behind bars again. Carlos Teran-Miranda now faces much more serious charges of child molestation.

In February, he was accused of hiding a camera inside a flower arrangement in one of the bathrooms at Golden Valley Health Centers, where he worked, along with possessing child pornography.

"So more people started calling us and coming forward with allegations," said Merced Police Captain Tom Trindad. "This was one that we were able to conduct some investigation. We presented to the district attorney's office. They felt there was not only enough for an arrest, but also enough to prosecute the case."

Merced police say a mother called them expressing concern about a November doctor's visit for her two children. Teran-Miranda is accused of molesting both children, plus another during the same visit.

Merced Deputy District Attorney Michael McKinney can't confirm whether the third child is related to the brother and sister, just that there are three felony charges for three victims, all under the age of 14. McKinney added the new charges to the original complaint, and Merced Police arrested the doctor again.

"They let us know as soon as the new allegations came forward," said McKinney. "And we've been working with them on the investigation as far as any follow up we wanted to see and different avenues we wanted to check out before we got to the point of filing charges."

Merced police say those who were recorded, including three other children, are all victims. Captain Trindad says a Merced dentist was sent to prison about a year ago for inappropriately touching patients. And while he says it's not common for medical professionals to act this way, it does happen.

"He was in a position of trust," said Trindad. "Lawyers, doctors, police officers, child care, psychologists, all of these people are in positions of trust and on top of not only your privacy being violated, but also somebody that you trusted..."

"Anybody that feels that they had an interaction that wasn't right or that has information that they feel the police department needs to know about, please don't hesitate to contact them. It's still an open and active investigation," McKinney said.

The doctor has agreed not to practice while this case is ongoing, and his passport has been taken away. McKinney says we can expect more information to surface in a week, when Teran-Miranda is in court for a preliminary hearing.

His bail has been set at $475,000.

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