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'Violated' | Doctor accused of hiding camera in Veterans Affairs clinic bathroom

Dr. Vincent Tran is named in a federal lawsuit and faces misdemeanor charges involving seven women.

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A former doctor in family practice at the Chula Vista Veterans Affairs Clinic is facing criminal charges of hiding a camera in a bathroom and secretly recording women using the restroom.

Dr. Vincent Tran, 52, no longer works at the V.A. clinic, but he still has a license to practice medicine, according to the California Medical Board.

Tran is charged in Chula Vista criminal court with 14 misdemeanor counts of secretly filming a person and invading their privacy with a concealed camera.

Tran has pleaded not guilty and is due back in court on June 9.

Paul Starita, an attorney with Gomez Trial Attorneys, filed a federal lawsuit last month against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of two of the alleged victims, who worked at the Chula Vista clinic.

“Sometime during October of 2020, the recording took place. And, our clients weren't notified until till May of 2021 that they had been, in fact, recorded on that device that the doctor had placed in the restroom,” said Starita.

“Our clients are nurses. And, you know, they're concerned about the fact that he's still out there in the community and still caring for patients,” Starita said. 

Starita continued, “The  V.A. knew or should have known that they needed to protect their female employees. And by having a unisex restroom, at a minimum, they should have swept that restroom to make sure there were no recording devices in the restroom.”

Because of the ongoing criminal case against Dr. Tran, Starita said the  V.A. has declined to turn over the hidden cam video to the alleged victims.

“They were devastated. They both describe it as being violated, you know, that it is tantamount to a sexual assault. It was something that really caused them great emotional distress,” said Starita.

CBS 8 reached out to Kristen Friedman, the criminal defense attorney representing Dr. Tran. She emailed us a statement saying, “Dr. Tran has an impeccable reputation and stellar twenty-year career as a medical professional.  He is a devoted family man."

A spokesperson for the  V.A. did not respond to a request for comment emailed Friday afternoon.

June 30, 2022 update:

A judge signed a stipulated order on Thursday, June 30, prohibiting Dr. Vincent Tran from practicing medicine until his criminal case is resolved.

WATCH RELATED: Why the VA is stopping doctors from sending veterans to other hospitals (Nov. 2021).

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