The author of the “pH Miracle” book series, who espoused alternative medicine while treating terminally ill people at his Valley Center ranch, pleaded guilty Wednesday to practicing medicine without a license.
Robert Oldham Young, 65, admitted in his plea that he didn’t have any post-high school educational degrees from any accredited schools.
The defendant also admitted that he was not a microbiologist, hematologist, medical doctor, naturopathic doctor or trained scientist.
Young was convicted last year of two separate counts of practicing medicine without a license and acquitted on a third count. Jurors deadlocked on six remaining charges, including two counts of grand theft. Three jurors likened Young’s science to selling snake oil.
Sentencing was set for May 1, at which time Young will be sentenced to three years and eight months in custody, to be served in the county jail.
Young will be on electronic monitoring until he surrenders for custody June 29, said Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas.
Darvas said Young went beyond advocating dietary changes and used intravenous treatments on patients” he housed at his 46-acre avocado ranch.
The prosecutor said Young sold treatments to people who were terminally ill, knowing it wouldn’t be effective.
Defense attorney Paul Pfingst said Young has a doctorate and people who came to him for treatment were well aware that he wasn’t a medical doctor.
In cases where patients needed to be injected with needles, Young hired doctors and nurses to perform those tasks, Pfingst said.
In Utah in 1995, Young was arrested on two felony counts of practicing medicine without a license. He pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor, which was dismissed under a plea deal 18 months later.
He was charged again in Utah in 2001, but the case was dropped.
— City News Service