The three-doctor Board of Professional Misconduct handed the severest punishment to Dr. Copperman, who, over 35 years, has cared for thousands of Merrick children. The panel said revocation was needed owing to the egregiousness of Dr. Copperman's acts, which occurred more than 20 years ago, as well as his unwillingness to take responsibility for them, according to published reports.
"Only revocation of his license to practice medicine will ensure protection for the public," read the decision.
The Herald attempted to reach Dr. Copperman at his Merrick office, but phone calls were not returned. In an interview late Monday with another publication, he denied the accusations against him. "I am not a pervert or a child molester," he said. " I've always lived my life so that someone could never say something bad about it." Dr. Copperman plans to appeal the state board's decision, he said.
One local parent, who did not wish to be identified and who was a patient of Dr. Copperman's, said, "Most of his practice is second-generation parents. He's been a great doctor. He has been an asset to the community."
Dr. Copperman, who received his medical license in 1961, opened his Merrick practice in 1965. At one time, he served as president of the Nassau Pediatric Society. He was also an associate professor of pediatric medicine at the State University of New York. Recently, he served as an Internet columnist, answering parents' questions on-line.
The groping incidents occurred between 1978 and 1989, said the state panel. The patients' ages ranged from 14 to 20 years old. The panel attributed the patients' delay in reporting the incidents to their embarrassment.