An American psychiatrist who was employed by Waikato District Health Board after surrendering his licence in the US amid controversy over an affair with a young patient, has pleaded guilty to her sexual assault.
Dr Paul Fox is facing 18 months in prison in his native country after pleading guilty in Danbury, Connecticut, to sexually assaulting the teenager in 2011.
The 66-year-old is infamous for treating a teenaged Adam Lanza - who went on to fatally shoot 26 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2014 when he was 20, after murdering his mother. Lanza then turned the gun on himself.
Fox began working for Waikato DHB's Mental Health and Addiction Services as a psychiatrist in June 2012, a month before he gave up his US medical licence where he had been registered in New York and Connecticut.
The mother of one patient was shocked to learn of Fox's guilty plea and called for an independent investigation into his interactions with his former Waikato patients.
Jane Stevens, whose son Nicky Stevens was treated by Fox on his first admission to Waikato Hospital's Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre in December 2013, said she was "absolutely disgusted" when it was discovered Fox was working illegally in New Zealand after surrendering his licence over "boundary violations".
"I was really concerned about obviously the fact that he was treating our son and basically had access to vulnerable people, including our son. You don't know what went on."
She and husband Dave Macpherson wrote on their Facebook page Nicky "Autumn" Stevens in May 2016 after Fox was charged with three counts of sexual assault, that the doctor was the "lead psychiatrist" for their son during his first stay.
"[He] originated the compulsory treatment regime using the drug Olanzapine, which was a treatment Nicky strongly objected to.
"The appalling thing is that the proper checks weren't done and they allowed a man to come in and work in New Zealand when he had no licence, so who is going to be held accountable for that?"
Stevens said the DHB should now investigate whether Fox acted inappropriately with any Waikato patients.
"This was a man that was an unregistered psychiatrist who was under a sexual assault cloud who had unique access to my son and goodness knows who else's.
"You've got a man with sexual abuse accusations who was working in a ward with our most vulnerable, who's there under false pretences. He should never have been allowed in there."
Fox's registration in New Zealand was cancelled by the Medical Council in February 2014 after his past came to light.
Waikato DHB executive director of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Vicki Aitken, said the DHB became aware of the specific details of the complaint against Fox in January 2014.
"We commissioned an independent external review by a senior psychiatrist into Dr Fox's practice at the DHB. This found no issues, therefore we have no need to relook at his patients."
According to court documents, police detectives investigating the Sandy Hook tragedy uncovered the sexual assault allegations when they later interviewed former patients of Fox, the Connecticut Post reported.
A then 18-year-old university student, identified as Jane Doe in court records, had begun seeing Fox in 2011 for treatment of depression and an eating disorder, and at some point he began having sex with her.
The woman told investigators about the sexual relationship, saying she was "drugged up and out of my mind" on a cocktail of prescription drugs Fox prescribed, the Post reported.
It's not the first time Waikato DHB has employed a dodgy psychiatrist.
A man posing as an American-educated psychiatrist, earning a salary of more than $165,000, was employed at Waikato Hospital in January 2015.
Mohamed Shakeel Siddiqui was in the job for five months before a colleague raised concerns.
Siddiqui had used the name and CV of a real psychiatrist in the US and three bogus references.
He was arrested in July 2015 with the help of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] and eventually jailed, then deported and banned from re-entering New Zealand.
Last week he lost an appeal against his fraud convictions.