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Ex-Catonsville doctor charged with sexually assaulting patient in Western Md.

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The practitioner of a now-closed Catonsville laser surgery center who was convicted of raping a woman at gunpoint in 1987 was indicted by an Allegany County grand jury last week for sexually assaulting a patient behind locked doors.

Dr. William Thomas Dando, 59, faces two charges related to the alleged incident April 6 at MedExpress Urgent Care Center in LaVale, just west of Cumberland. The victim, a 41-year-old woman, told the Allegany County sheriff's office that after a nurse left the exam room, the doctor locked a door and assaulted her.


Dando was released and is scheduled to appear in court next month, under an indictment filed May 23. He could not be reached for comment.

The charges come months after a federal court discharged a personal bankruptcy case Dando filed in which medical equipment from his former cosmetic surgery practice on Frederick Road was sold at auction.


Dando, a 1986 graduate of a Costa Rican medical school, has been a licensed physician in Maryland since 1996. His license remains active, set to expire Sept. 30, according to state Board of Physicians records.

Christine Farrelly, the board's acting executive director, said the agency cannot disclose records related to continuing investigations. Disciplinary actions are made public when they occur, she said.

The board placed Dando on probation in April 2010 for failing "to meet the standards of quality care" and for failing to keep adequate medical records for seven patients, according to online records. The probationary period ended in February 2013.

MedExpress Urgent Care hired Dando in May 2013, and he was fired when officials learned of the sexual assault allegations, said Kelly Sorice, a company spokeswoman.

"Patient safety is our utmost priority," Sorice said.

MedExpress, based in Morgantown, W.Va., screens all of its physicians, Sorice said. That includes a criminal background check, which is handled by a third party. Sorice would not comment on what did or did not show up under Dando's criminal background check.

Dando was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1987 after pleading guilty to breaking into a woman's home and raping her in Ocoee, Fla., in December 1986. He served a fraction of that time, released in 1991. He had faced a sentence of up to 17 years, but a judge in an Orange County, Fla., court was lenient because Dando showed remorse and was under intense stress.

A psychiatrist told the judge that Dando recently had graduated from medical school, completing a residency in family medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Florida, and was in the Orlando area for a three-day exam to get his physician's license. Facing "tremendous pressure," sexually frustrated after a visit to a strip club and under the influence of alcohol, Dando followed a woman and her 12-year-old daughter home, cut the home's phone wires and raped the woman at gunpoint, the psychiatrist told the judge.


The victim later found Dando's wallet inside her home, and police arrested him when he came to police headquarters to claim it.

Maryland Board of Physicians regulations require that applicants detail any convictions, guilty pleas, arrests that would be grounds for disciplinary actions, and physical or mental conditions that impair the ability to practice medicine.

Before joining the LaVale urgent care center, Dando's primary practice listed in Board of Physicians records was on Frederick Road in Catonsville, Farrelly said. The board did not have information on when he established his practice there.

Dando operated Baltimore Cosmetic Laser Center on Frederick Road, according to bankruptcy and regulatory filings. The state Department of Assessments awarded him a trade name for the practice in April 2011.

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"Doing cosmetic procedures gives me the opportunity to give people something to really feel good about themselves," he said in a video posted to YouTube in 2010 advertising procedures including laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation and "smart lipo."

In October 2013, Dando filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, claiming assets worth $742,000, including homes in Catonsville and Allegany County and a timeshare in Aruba, and debts totaling $2.1 million. Debts included mortgages, business-related taxes and loans, and $1 million in possible damages from a pending wrongful-death lawsuit.


Though the bankruptcy filing said Dando was trying to sell the Catonsville home, in the 2400 block of Harborwood Road, state property records show he still owns it. He purchased it in 2005 for $344,900.

A federal bankruptcy judge for the district of Maryland discharged Dando's case Feb. 10.

Tribune Newspapers contributed to this article.