A former Twin Cities plastic surgeon who lost his medical license after allegations of molesting several female patients was charged Monday with being extremely drunk when he drove his SUV into a parked vehicle in northeast Minneapolis over the weekend, one month before he's scheduled to be sentenced for mistreating patients.
Christopher Kovanda, 57, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with second- and third-degree drunken driving, careless driving and driving while uninsured in connection with the wreck about 9:10 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of 2nd Street NE. and 5th Avenue NE.
Kovanda, of Minneapolis, was jailed and remains held Monday without bail ahead of a court appearance Tuesday afternoon. A message was left with one of his attorneys seeking a response to the drunken driving allegations.
A state trooper administered a preliminary breath test at the crash scene, and it measured his blood alcohol content at 0.214%, more than 2½ times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
According to the criminal complaint:
A state trooper sent to the crash location saw Kovanda's SUV with heavy front-end damage after he hit a parked vehicle that was pushed into a second parked vehicle. Kovanda remained nearby and told law enforcement he had "several large beers" at an Oktoberfest event, the charges read.
A field sobriety test found Kovanda struggled to keep his balance when asked to perform certain standard tasks. He was arrested after failing the breath test.
Court records in Minnesota show Kovanda has a previous drunken driving conviction in 2015.
One Sept. 5, Kovanda agreed to plead guilty to gross misdemeanor counts of mistreating patients after initially being charged with two gross misdemeanor counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from assaults of two women in 2019 and 2021.
The plea agreement between prosecutors and the defense calls for the sexual assault charges to be dismissed and replaced with the mistreatment of patient counts. The agreement also includes that a 364-day jail term be set aside and instead impose on Kovanda 1½ months of electronic home monitoring.
Also under the plea deal, Kovanda agreed to not apply to have his license restored during the two years he's on probation.
Sentencing before Judge Lisa Janzen is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1, when she will decide whether to accept the terms of the plea deal.
The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice disclosed in August 2022 that Kovanda was no longer licensed to practice medicine because of "conduct with a patient which is sexual or may reasonably be interpreted by the patient as sexual, or in any verbal behavior which is seductive or sexually demeaning to a patient." Some of the alleged incidents date to 2008.
Along with the two women whose accusations were the basis for the charges, the criminal complaint listed five other patients of Kovanda's who alleged that he molested them during office visits either in Edina or Minneapolis.
Kovanda's last clinic was on Excelsior Boulevard in Minneapolis, and he previously practiced in Maple Grove, in the 50th & France retail district as Kovanda Plastic Surgery, and before that as a partner at Midwest Plastic Surgery in the Southdale Medical Building, also in Edina.