by: Kevin McCarty Updated:GIG HARBOR, Wash. —
A Gig Harbor psychologist’s license has been suspended after the state Health Department learned his laptop with medical information on hundreds of patients was stolen by a prostitute.
According to the Washington State Department of Health, Sunil Kakar is believed to have kept unprotected medical information on 652 Department of Social and Health Services clients on his personal laptop.
Charging documents from the DOH Examining Board of Psychology said Kakar’s laptop was stolen from his backpack by a prostitute on or about Feb. 4.
According to a Gig Harbor police report obtained by KIRO 7, Kakar admitted paying the woman for sex after meeting her on a website called tnaseattle, an online dating site that openly advertises escorts.
The police reports states Kakar admitted paying the woman $450 after he had sex with her on their first meeting.
He later offered her the laptop as collateral after another meeting during which he did not pay her, according to the report. Kakar retrieved the laptop and told police the woman stole it when he didn’t pay her once again.
“He left his vehicle unattended and she stole the laptop," said Washington State Health Department spokeswoman Lisa Hodgson.
Documents said Kakar didn’t notify DSHS about the snatched laptop until five days later and initially misrepresented the number of clients who could be affected.
Health officials said Kakar at first reported that the computer had been stolen from his truck and it was assumed it happened on Feb. 2 when he was meeting with a friend.
Kakar didn’t file a police report until Feb. 14, when he at first said it was removed from his unlocked truck, then later changed his story and explained to police his laptop had been stolen by a prostitute while he went to an ATM, documents said. The prostitute pawned the laptop and it was eventually recovered by police, the DOH said.
Kakar was immediately suspended on charges of not protecting sensitive client information. He was already on probation.
The DOH said Kakar has a past of mental and drug issues.
He was admitted to mental health facility in April 2011 after a family member said he was exhibiting unusual grandiose behavior, documents said.
In July 2011, he was arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He later participated in both inpatient and outpatient treatment.
Kakar cannot practice until the charges are resolved.
“Patients have a right to assume that their personal patient information will be protected," Hodgson said. “And by having his laptop stolen, that put these records at risk.”