A Grande Prairie, Alta. surgeon who was suspended from practice after two female patients complained of inappropriate examinations is also charged with three counts of sexual assault, RCMP announced Tuesday.

Dr. Romelito Delacruz, an ear, nose and throat specialist, was suspended for six months by the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Alberta.

The suspension was announced on Tuesday morning. RCMP announced later that day that Delacruz is also facing criminal charges.

The first complaint arose after a woman saw Delacruz in June 2008 for a second opinion regarding symptoms she developed after a chin implant.

The woman accused Delacruz of fondling her breasts and unnecessarily examining her buttocks and genital area after she brought up concerns relating to an earlier breast implant.

A 16-year-old girl, who saw Dr. Delacruz in August 2007 about a tonsillectomy, laid similar complaints.

She accused Delacruz of exposing and examining her breasts and touching her buttocks and genital area when there was no medical reason to do so.

The College said at this point it arranged for a chaperone to be present whenever Delacruz examined a female patient. The order will stay in effect until changed by the registrar or college council.

While Delacruz defended his examinations as medically necessary, a tribunal concluded the examinations were inappropriate.

Delacruz will serve his suspension from Nov. 15 to May 14, 2013 and is ordered to pay $61,000 to cover some of the costs of the investigation.

Delacruz must also pay for, attend, and cooperate in a multi-disciplinary assessment which could impose conditions on his practice permit.