After more than three days of hearing witnesses question his competency and accuse him of fondling or having sex with patients, Spanish Fork dentist Kent Hansen finally got his turn to tell his story to state licensing authorities.
But two hours into his bold denial of charges brought against him, Hansen broke down and wept when he admitted letting a patient perform oral sex on him."I don't know why I let her," Hansen testified Thursday. "I feel terrible. I'm embarrassed. I contemplated suicide. I contemplated running away."
He said he has apologized to his family, the local dental community and his church.
Hansen's tearful confession ended an emotion-charged day of testimony at a hearing before the state Dentists and Dental Hygienists Licensing Board. Hansen and his twin brother, Brent, have been accused of sexual misconduct, incompetency, over-prescribing drugs and fraudulent Medicaid billing in a petition issued by the state Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing in August 1989.
The six-member board will determine whether the Hansens can continue practicing dentistry and prescribe medication based on evidence presented at the hearing. The 54-year-old twins practice in Spanish Fork and Midvale.
Kent Hansen continued testifying Friday, and Brent Hansen is expected to take the stand. The hearing is expected to last through Saturday.
Kent Hansen said he usually would take a family member with him to see a patient after regular hours. But one evening in January 1988, he went to the office alone to meet a patient complaining of pain.
The patient was Keyna Whimpey, the state's key witness against the Hansens and whom Hansen said he found attractive and flirtatious, yet highly emotional and always complaining of pain. After returning from developing X-rays, Hansen saw Whim-pey topless in the dentist chair. He said his "manly instincts" took over and he allowed her to unzip his pants and perform oral sex. She tried it again during another appointment the following May, but Hansen said he stopped her.
Whimpey, 29, has testified that every time she went to the Hansens' office between 1986 and 1988 she had oral or sexual intercourse with either Kent or Brent Hansen in exchange for prescriptions for narcotics. She blames the Hansens for getting her addicted to drugs.
But on Thursday, Kent Hansen heatedly denied engaging in any other sexual activity other than what he had admitted to and denied exchanging drugs for sex.
"All this other garbage she has thrown at me is false," he said. "I don't know if it was her lawyers or whoever who concocted that crap. It's false."
Hansen then admitted to taking photos of Whimpey partially nude in the dentist chair - although he said she asked him to do it.
Hansen also denied fondling or having improper physical contact with other patients. In response to previous testimony that he rubbed his pelvic area against patient Traci Rockwood, he said, "Absolutely not. I'm offended by that."
Concerning allegations of prescribing excessive narcotics and painkillers, Hansen said he and his brother have changed their philosophy and only prescribe nonaddictive pain medication. Hansen also defended his dental care record, saying he never gave sub-standard treatment and would handle dental problems the same way today.
Defense attorney Jackson Howard has characterized Kent Hansen, a former LDS Church stake president and bishop, and Brent Hansen, former mayor of Spanish Fork and a former LDS Church bishop, as "babes in the woods" who were seduced by Whimpey.
During cross-examination early Thursday, Howard brought Whim-pey to tears as he grilled her on her past sexual exploits and drug abuse. Under intense questioning, Whimpey admitted to being unfaithful to her husband, "doctor shopping" for drugs and dealing in "street drugs," having sex with an unidentified Juab County physician and sending nude photos of herself to Hustler magazine.
He mentioned her malpractice suit against the Hansens and likened her offer to settle the case for $250,000 to extortion.