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Head of pain management clinic accused of extorting patient for 'sexual favors'

Detectives say they identified "additional potential victims."

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — The head of a Tampa Bay area pain management clinic is accused of extorting a woman "to perform sexual favors for him" in exchange for not discharging her after he claimed she tested positive on a drug test.

Christopher Ferguson, 52, was the director of operations at the Phoenix Medical Pain Management clinic on South Pinellas Avenue in Tarpon Springs.

The Tarpon Springs Police Department said Ferguson told the patient she had tested positive on a routine submission while under the clinic's care. The department said, over about nine days, he repeatedly told her to respond to the facility for more samples if she wanted to stay on as a patient.

Police said Ferguson began contacting the woman outside of business hours, telling her to show up to the practice after it closed for the day.

"...he ultimately extorted her by directing her to perform sexual favors for him in exchange for keeping her from being discharged from the practice, as a patient," the police department explained in a news release.

Detectives arrested Ferguson and charged him with one count of extortion.

"Through this investigation, additional potential victims have been identified," the police department wrote. "We are asking anyone with information about this investigation to contact detectives at 727-938-2849."

Ferguson, who is from Pinellas Park, bonded out of jail on Jan. 13, according to online Pinellas County Sheriff's Office records.

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