Dentist accused of dropping trousers at Christmas party
A dentist kissed a female colleague and made comments about her breasts at a staff’s Christmas party, a disciplinary panel heard.
Harald Berg then dropped his trousers after spilling wine over himself and asked the woman to “dry him off.”
The German, who was working at a practice on the Isle of Wight, is also said to have kissed a second colleague at work without her consent.
He is accused of serious professional misconduct, but failed to turn up at the General Central Council hearing yesterday because he is on a cruise to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Since complaints were made about him up to two years ago, the dental surgeon has moved to Crystal Beach, Florida.
Two female colleagues, who worked with him at the Island Dental Practice in East Cowes, have travelled from the Isle of Wight to give evidence at the hearing in London.
The first, known as staff member A, has accused him of “inappropriate behaviour” at the December 2004 Christmas party and at work during 2005.
Berg also hugged and kissed the woman without her consent, patted her thigh as she stood on a stool in the reception area, and whispered an obscene message into her ear.
The second woman, who is also in her twenties and known as staff member B, said he kissed her in her treatment room at the practice without her consent in June 2005.
David Bradly for the GDC, said: “This inquiry concerns unacceptable behaviour on the part of Mr Berg in relation to two members of staff at this practice.
“The council alleges that his behaviour was not only inappropriate, unprofessional and unfair to the members of staff involved, but an abuse of the senior position Mr Berg held in the practice.”
Berg was initially arrested and charged over one of the complaints, but criminal proceedings were discontinued after the woman involved dropped her case.
In a police statement read to the panel, Mr Berg admitted he had kissed his colleague known as B, but said it was “like a father kissed a daughter.”
“It was a five-second kiss, not even that,” he said.
“She put her hands on my chest and I had the impression she had to tell me something. She said, smiling, ‘do you know you are a naughty boy?’.”
But the woman said in her statement: “He gave me a kiss on the lips, it was a soft kiss, but he used his tongue. I pulled away, he said, ‘don’t you like it?’, I said, ‘you’re terrible,.”
The panel heard that Berg had whispered the words: ‘I was an early f*****,’ into the first woman’s ear, apparently referring to his sexual conquests at a young age.
When he spilt wine on his groin at the Christmas party, he “made a request to staff member A to the effect that she dry his testicles,” said Mr Bradly.
Berg qualified as a dentist at the University of Heidelberg and spent most of his career in Germany before taking the job on the Isle of Wight in November 2004.
Complaints against him surfaced only a month later.
When challenged by police he argued: “Other girls from the reception, they hugged me, gave me kisses and all this. They are inappropriate then to me when they hug me and kiss me.”
He said he could not attend the hearing because of his holiday plans, but the council decided to proceed with the case in his absence.
Berg’s responses to the GDC’s allegations “show the committee a consistent denial maintained by Mr Berg in relation to the complaints,” said Mr Bradly.
The hearing continues.