Charges filed against 82-year-old doctor whose clinic housed alleged unlicensed surgeon, records say

Jessica Willey Image
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Doctor who owns clinic where 'fake doctor' did surgeries charged
An 82-year-old licensed physician, Rodolfo Garma Giraldi, is accused of aiding an alleged unlicensed surgeon through the doctor's clinic.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The doctor, who the Houston Police Department said owned and operated a clinic where an unlicensed surgical assistant performed surgeries, was charged with a felony.

Court records state that Rodolfo Garma Giraldi, 82, is accused of aiding the practice of medicine without a license, "which caused physical and psychological harm" to three women from March 2022 through Oct. 7, 2023.

Giraldi, who the Texas Medical Board website shows as a licensed doctor in the state, turned himself in on Tuesday.

Last October, HPD's Major Offenders Division arrested Alexander Padilla for practicing medicine without a license at Giraldi's cosmetic surgery center. In March, the charge was dismissed, and instead, Padilla was charged with practicing medicine without a license, causing physical harm, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is out of jail on bond.

HPD said Padilla, who does not have a medical license, performed cosmetic surgeries on dozens of women, some of which resulted in complications, at Giraldi's Houston Aesthetic Center on the Katy Freeway. More than 30 women have come forward, according to the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Investigators said, as the center's medical doctor, Giraldi failed to monitor and supervise Padilla, which he has a legal duty to do.

"The doctor knows better," a plaintiff's attorney, Lance Walters, told ABC13. "In my opinion, the owner of the clinic is just as culpable as the one doing the cutting."

Walters is not involved in the cases.

Dennis Powell, Giraldi's defense attorney, declined to comment.

On Tuesday night, Houston Aesthetic Center appeared to be permanently closed.

Giraldi's next court date is May 15.

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