The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office reported to Historic City News on Friday afternoon that a former Flagler County physician, 59-year-old Florence Fruehan, pled “no-contest” to a negotiated charge of battery against a person 65-years-old, or older.
The investigation of this crime dates to multiple complaints received in early 2018 from patients previously treated by Fruehan. Several complaints registered were determined to have exceeded the Florida statute of limitations and were barred. The combination of most recent felony and misdemeanor complaints were filed with the office of R. J. Larizza for prosecution.
“Two victims reported that the doctor had touched them inappropriately during office visits and that the touching happened without the consent of either victim, and without serving any legitimate medical purpose,” sheriff’s spokesman Brittany Kershaw reported. “The incidents, while sexual in nature, did not meet the statutory requirements for a sex crime. The fitting charge is battery on a person 65-years-of-age, or older.”Brittany Kershaw
Fruehan was ultimately arrested on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 16, 2019, after deputies executed two capias orders issued by a Flagler County Judge.
“Our detectives have not stopped working on this case since it was first reported to us,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “There is still more work to be done but I am pleased that the State Attorney’s Office has moved forward on these two felony charges. I hope the victims feel that justice is being served.”Sheriff Rick Staly
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Fruehan was sentenced to 24-months of probation and is required to have mental health evaluations, no contact with any of the victims, and may never again work in any capacity in the medical field.
The plea agreement dropped one of the two felony and misdemeanor charges against Fruehan. If the terms of his probation are successfully met, his probation may end at the halfway point, or after just 12-months.
“Our detectives have done a great job working this case and working with the State Attorney’s Office to seek justice for the victims,” Staly also said. “I hope the victims see this as a positive outcome and find peace knowing that he will never practice medicine again.”Sheriff Rick Staly