Local News


Phony doctor could face murder charges

Posted at 12:00 PM, Oct 17, 2015

There is new information in the twisted case of a fake doctor arrested earlier this month.

Now, he could be facing a murder charge.

Local police and FBI shut down a make-shift medical practice operated by Rick Van Thiel, known to some as Dr. Rick.

Prosecutors say he's more dangerous than anyone originally suspected.

The phony doc was arrested Oct. 7 for multiple charges of practicing medicine without a license.

Prosecutors are pushing for a murder charge involving a victim Van Thiel treated who died of AIDS. 

Sources also told Channel 13 that Van Thiel could face multiple sexual assault charges involving women who went to him for abortions. 
Police also found guns during the search of Van Thiel's operation. He's not allowed to own guns because he's a convicted felon. 

We dug deeper into his criminal history and found that in 2007, police arrested and charged him with attempted murder and assault. 

Contact 13 has learned the victim in that case was a minor. Van Thiel took a deal, pleading guilty to assault, and was sentenced to prison for 4 years, plus probation.

Even though Van Thiel agreed to the plea deal in 2007, according to court records he's been filing motions ever since trying to correct what he calls an illegal sentence.  

Court documents indicate he violated the conditions of probation related to that case. Van Thiel will be back in court on Tuesday, Oct. 20.