Judge Likens ‘Fake Doctors’ To Serial Killers After Unlicensed Las Vegas Doctor Is Accused Of Killing Three People

A Las Vegas judge is calling Rick Van Thiel, an unlicensed doctor, of being “more dangerous” than a serial killer and rapist. Thiel is linked to the deaths of three of his patients, and the judge says he preyed on people who did not have access to health care services. In addition to the other charges, Thiel is also accused of sexually assaulting his “patients,” with so many victims that the prosecutor claims there are too many to count.

The Daily Mail reports that 52-year-old Rick Van Thiel stands accused of practicing medicine without a license. The fake doctor is linked to the deaths of at least three of his patients. Thiel’s bail was set at $1 million and when his attorney asked for bail to be reduced to $20,000, Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman denied the bail adjustment, claiming that Thiel seemed to “present more of a danger to the community than a serial rapist or a serial murderer because he appears to be preying upon people who can’t access health care.”

The report indicates that in a search of Thiel’s home resulted in approximately 140 items to be confiscated. Included in the confiscation were computers, “black market steroids,” and blood thinning drugs. Reports indicate that bags of something that “appears” to be blood was also found in the home. Police claim that Thiel was advertising his unlicensed medical services on Craigslist, and appeared to provide the services in multiple states including Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. According the Review Journal, the fake doctor treated at least 87 patients, with many of them claiming they were sexually assaulted during their procedure. Prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo says that there are so many victims claiming that they were sexually assaulted that he can’t even count them.

“I can’t even count the number of sexual assault counts he is now facing.”

Currently, Thiel is being held on charges involving illegal firearms, but the prosecutor says that second-degree murder charges will be added for “reckless disregard” in the medical care of patients without a license. Additionally, the sexual assault charges are expected to be included. The judge in the case, Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman, seems to agree with the prosecution that Thiel is an extreme danger to society and kept his bail at $1 million, the highest bail the state has seen for arms charges in over 20 years.


In addition to the charges being presented by the state, the FBI is also investigating Thiel for his alleged involvement in the sovereign citizens movement. The members of the movement claim to be above federal jurisdiction and believe that they do not have to pay taxes. Additionally, Thiel is being investigated on pornography charges.

Google street view of Rick Van Thiel's alleged illegal medical practice. (Image via Google Maps)

“Dr. Rick,” as Thiel was referred to by patients and in his ads, claims that he was involved in pornography well before he was arrested on battery charges in 2007. Thiel spent four years in prison for those charges and claims that after he was released, his pornography equipment was stolen and he decided to “go into the medical field.”

Do you agree with Justice of the Peace Ann Zimmerman that unlicensed medical doctors are “more dangerous” than serial killers and rapists? Was the judge justified in keeping the bail at $1 million, despite the fact that only weapons charges are currently standing?

[Image via Las Vegas Police Department mugshot]