Dr. Robert L. Smith is suspended from Thompson Health

CANANDAIGUA — A doctor who has worked with Thompson Health for 15 years is one of six men facing a misdemeanor charge of third-degree patronizing a person for prostitution, according to Wayne County sheriff’s deputies.

Robert L. Smith, 47, of 5320 Wells Curtice Road, Canandaigua; Michael J. Fischer, 45, of 1135 Brooktree Lane, Webster; Leopoldo Gil Sanchez, 33, of 6051 S. Centenary Road, Sodus; James W. Barr, 59, of 1213 Creekside Trail, Webster; Timothy J. Sullivan, 56, of 2362 Route 21, Palymra; and Robert M. Assisi, 53, of 5970 Jerusalem Drive, Cicero; are scheduled to appear in Ontario Town Court on June 23.

Smith voluntarily notified Thompson Health administration of his arrest earlier this week, according to a statement from Thompson Health CEO Michael F. Stapleton Jr.

Smith requested and was granted an immediate leave of absence from the medical staff, according to Stapleton's statement. Additionally, Smith was suspended immediately as an employee of Thompson Health.

“Quality patient care is of the utmost importance. Thompson is developing a plan to communicate with all of Dr. Smith’s patients to ensure there is no disruption to their care,” Stapleton's statement reads. “We are also working out the logistical details to ensure his patients receive care from one of our other practicing providers. We expect to have this in place early next week and will deliver this information to his patients in a timely manner.”

A town of Ontario resident tipped off deputies about an ad on the social media website Backpage.com of a woman soliciting money for sex in the area. Deputies arranged a meeting with the woman, who deputies said is a heroin addict prostituting herself to buy the drug and who agreed to assist deputies in an investigation.

Deputies, along with Seneca County sheriff’s deputies and members of WayneNET, continued the investigation Wednesday at a motel on Route 104 in Ontario.

The woman, who was not identified, has been referred to substance abuse counseling services and is awaiting in-patient placement, deputies said.

Each of the men were issued appearance tickets.