Horry County doctor agreed to stop practicing medicine, five years after arrests

troot@thesunnews.comApril 24, 2013 

— An Horry County cardiologist agreed to stop practicing medicine in South Carolina, more than five years after area police charged him in connection with female patients being inappropriately touched, according to an agreement filed with the S.C. Board of Medical Examiners.

In an agreement filed Feb. 22, Omar Jaraki agreed “to relinquish forevermore his right to practice medicine in South Carolina” and surrender his medical license.

Jaraki could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

According to an online search, Jaraki opened The Heart Tissue and Stem Cell Center last year in Yafour, which is near Damascus in Syria.

The state Board of Medical Examiners had been investigating a complaint of misconduct involving Jaraki, who was indicted by an Horry County grand jury in February 2010 on assault charges related to patients reporting being inappropriately touched in several different incidents in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

The complaints were filed by women who had sought treatment from the 57-year-old at his offices in Myrtle Beach and Conway, police said.

In South Carolina, Jaraki’s medical license was suspended in August 2008 after his arrests in July and August that year.

Jaraki pleaded guilty on June 11, 2010, to a reduced charge of simple assault and battery in the case, according to court records. Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Culbertson sentenced Jaraki to 30 days in jail or a $250 fine plus court costs.

In an unrelated case, Jaraki also pleaded guilty during that court appearance to a third or subsequent offense of shoplifting, which is a property offense felony, according to court records. Jaraki was sentenced to two years in jail, but that sentence was suspended upon his completion of a year on probation and paying court costs.

Jaraki was arrested on that shoplifting charge on Nov. 21, 2007 by Myrtle Beach police.

In unrelated incidents, Jaraki was charged and convicted in 2003 for shoplifting and one count of simple assault and battery in North Myrtle Beach. Both were misdemeanor offenses and Jaraki was fined $670. In 2004, Jaraki was convicted of one count of shoplifting in Horry County and fined $225. In November 2007, Horry County police charged Jaraki with four counts of shoplifting.

Court records also showed that Jaraki settled a medical malpractice lawsuit last year that was filed by a Jane Doe. The settlement included $200,000 against Jaraki, his wife, Halla Jaraki and his business Cardiology and Arrhythmia Consultants.

In 2008, Conway police arrested Jaraki on July 2 and July 30, and Myrtle Beach police arrested him on Aug. 12. The charges were filed after seven women came forward with statements about being assaulted while in Jaraki’s doctor’s office for routine care, police said.

In the arrest reports at the time, one woman said that Jaraki inappropriately touched and pinched her breasts. Another woman said Jaraki had penetrated her genitals with his hand, police said at the time. The women also said Jaraki made sexually explicit remarks.

At the time of his arrests in 2008, Jaraki denied the claims made by the women.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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