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Sparta man who performed illegal circumcision wants an apology

3:45 AM, Jun 10, 2010   |    comments
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Thomas Huegel

Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - A Sparta man sentenced to probation for performing a circumcision without a medical license says the Kent County sheriff owes him an apology.

"The way the investigation was conducted was inappropriate," says 56 year old Thomas Heugel.

Thomas Heugel admits he performed a circumcision on a 21 year old homeless man with a deformity.

"He begged me, 'Please, please help me'," says Heugel. "I decided that was the only thing that was going to cure it so I did."

Heugel, who says he is trained paramedic, says the patient is completely satisfied with the results. But a former tenant he evicted from his house notified police about the procedure and suggested it wasn't the first time.

"The young gentleman I assisted didn't file the report," says Heugel. "It was the former roommate. The disgruntled former roommate. It's a vindictive thing."

Heugel pled guilty to one count of practicing medicine without a license. Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Buth sentenced him to 5 years probation.

"The court is not placing you on any additional jail time," the judge told Heugel. "You have received sufficient punishment because of the disgrace you have suffered."

During the investigation there were reports Heugel may be operating a circumcision clinic in his home. That he may be assaulting minors.

No supporting evidence from the detective on the case was
ever presented in court.

"He got his facts from a convicted felon," says Heugel. "A former drug addict and alcoholic and he made sure he leaked this information to the news media."

Because he pled guilty to the single charge there was no trial and prosecutors never had an opportunity to present any evidence against Heugel.

He says he is considering legal action against the sheriff's department because of damage to his reputation.

"Leaking untruthful information to the media was a violation of my civil rights," he says. "It has hurt my family. It has hurt the community."

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