Doctor arrested, accused of trading pills for sex with patient

Dr. Tristan Stronger (Provided Photo/IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana doctor has been arrested, accused of trading pills for sex with at least one patient, according to court documents uncovered by I-Team 8.

Dr. Tristan Stonger, a board certified physician with practices in Peru, Indianapolis and Bloomington, was arrested Monday and is facing preliminary charges of dealing controlled substances and narcotics, according to online court records.

The Indiana Attorney General’s office has also sought a 90-day suspension of Stonger’s medical license. According to the petition filed by the Attorney General’s office, Stonger developed a sexual relationship with at least one patient.

Those records indicate that “on or about May 2013, (Stonger) began treating Patient 1. Sometime in late 2014, (Stonger) pursued a sexual relationship with Patient 1. Patient 1 has stated that she complied with (Stonger’s) requests because she felt obligated in order to receive prescriptions from (Stonger). (Stonger’s) requests for sexual contact with Patient 1 have continued to the present time,” according to documents filed with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

The petition also alleges that on or about March 28, 2016, that same patient went to the medical office of Dr. Stonger for the purposes of getting controlled substances. Patient 1 made an audio recording of her time in the office, the records state.

“Within moments of walking into the exam room with Patient 1, (Stonger) makes sexual advances towards her and ultimately has her perform a sex act on him in the office. At the termination of the appointment, (Stonger) provides Patient 1 with three prescriptions for controlled substances.”

Among the drugs she obtained were: Lyrica, Oxycodone and Adderall.

The Indiana Attorney General’s petition also alleges that a former office staffer of Dr. Stonger raised concerns that Stonger was “engaging in inappropriate sexual activities in the office and failing to appropriately care for his patients.”

This employee later told investigators that she had concerns that Stonger had “special patients” with whom he would spend an unusual amount of time in an exam room. That employee further stated that Stonger would lock the door when he was with these special female patients and instruct staff not to knock on the door if it is locked. She reported that it “seemed to her that these patients received more narcotic medications than other patients,” the records state.

The petition goes on to state that on April 11, 2016 Stonger was charged with six felonies based on dealing or dispensing controlled substances specifically related to what he provided Patient 1 in February and March of 2016.

The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is planning a joint news conference with the Indiana Attorney General on Tuesday.

I-Team 8 reached Stonger’s wife by phone.

“I am shocked by these allegations that were posed to him,” Belinda Stonger told I-Team 8’s Bennett Haeberle. “I was totally unaware of them.”

Belinda Stonger told I-Team 8 that the DEA raided her husband’s offices in Peru, Bloomington and Indianapolis in late February on accusations of over-prescribing medication. She denies wrongdoing by her husband in that instance.

“They tried to say it wasn’t medically necessary,” she told I-Team 8. “His practice was not a pill mill. It was interventional.”

Belinda Stonger said she was made aware of the sexual allegations against her husband Monday, but didn’t want to comment further until she had a chance to speak with him directly.

Belinda Stonger did confirm, however, that her husband was in fact arrested Monday. The Marion County Jail website shows he is facing at least three charges. However, the Attorney General’s petition mentions six charges.

Stonger concluded by saying that she believes those making certain allegations have questionable credibility.

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