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					                                 Before the
                     Administrative Hearing Commission
                              State of Missouri



MINGO JOHN ACOSTA,                                        )
                                                          )
                           Petitioner,                    )
                                                          )
         vs.                                              )             No. 08-0289 HA
                                                          )
STATE BOARD OF REGISTRATION                               )
FOR THE HEALING ARTS,                                     )
                                                          )
                           Respondent.                    )


                                                   DECISION

         We deny the application of Mingo John Acosta for temporary licensure as a physical

therapy assistant (“application”).

                                                   Procedure

             On January 30, 2008, the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (“the

Board”) denied Acosta's application. On February 11, 2008, Acosta appealed the denial. The

Board answered. We held a hearing on July 22, 2008.1 Acosta appeared without counsel.

Assistant Attorney General Sreenu Dandamudi represented the Board. We granted the Board

leave to amend its answer by interlineation so that Count I, paragraph 11, cites § “334.100.2(2)”




         1
          On July 17, 2008, the Board filed its “motion to strike petitioner’s witnesses or in the alternative motion
to continue.” The Board withdrew the motion at the hearing because the parties agreed that Acosta could present his
character witnesses and the Board could introduce the police report from Phelps County with its attachments.
instead of “334.100.2(1).2 Both parties filed written arguments. The case became ready for our

decision on October 15, 2008, when the Board filed its reply brief.

                                                 Findings of Fact

         1.     Acosta was born on February 16, 1979.

         2.     On October 8, 2000, Acosta was driving a car in downtown Harrisburg,

Pennsylvania. Acosta thought that the person driving behind him was driving too close to the

rear of Acosta's car. Acosta tapped his brake lights to signal the other driver to allow more

distance between the two. The other driver turned on his bright lights. Acosta gave him the

finger. The other driver pulled alongside of Acosta and began yelling at him. Acosta told him to

“*** off” and tried to speed up to pull away. Eventually, Acosta pointed his Taurus .45

automatic out of his window and fired a warning shot toward the ground along side of Acosta's

car. The other driver pulled over. Acosta drove through side streets to attempt to make certain

that the other driver was not following him. However, the other driver caught up to Acosta.

Acosta shot at the other driver’s car with his .45 pistol.3

         3.     Acosta was charged as follows in the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland

County:4

                  a. Count 1: recklessly endangering another person, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2705;

                  b. Count 2: firearms not to be carried without license, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §

                       6106(a)(1);

                  c. Count 3: aggravated assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2702(a)(1); and

                  d. Count 4: simple assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2701(a)(1).


         2
            Tr. at 16.
         3
            We make our findings regarding how the incident occurred from some of the statements that Acosta made
in his description of the events that he submitted with his application. Acosta's version is the only description of the
events in the record.
          4
            The only evidence of the charges is the summary entries in the court docket records that Acosta included
with his application.

                                                           2
        4.     On July 18, 2001, a jury found Acosta guilty of counts 1, 2, and 4, but not guilty of

count 3.

        5.     On September 5, 2001, the court sentenced Acosta as follows:

                a. On count 1, Acosta must pay restitution to All State Insurance Company in the

                    amount of $1,886.02.

                b. On count 2, Acosta must serve a term of imprisonment from nine to 23

                    months.

                c. On count 4, Acosta must serve a term of imprisonment from six to 23 months,

                    concurrently with the sentence for count 2.

        6.     Acosta was incarcerated from August 2001 to August 2002.

        7.     Acosta attended East Central College in Rolla, Missouri, from August 2002 to May

2005. He served as the president of the Student Government Association from 2004 to 2005.

        8.     On February 26, 2005, in Phelps County, Missouri, Acosta and Jason Bounds

accompanied a female friend, Amy Wonder, to the apartment where she had been living with Ian

Anderson. Wonder wanted to gather her things because she was moving out. Anderson was

asleep in a bedroom when they got there. While Wonder was gathering her things, Anderson

woke up and told Acosta and Bounds to get off his furniture. Anderson began speaking to

Wonder, then Acosta and Anderson began arguing. Acosta hit Anderson in the face with his fist.

Bounds began hitting Anderson, too. They continued hitting Anderson with fists even after

Anderson fell down. The fight left Anderson with a cracked bone underneath his left eye and a

crack in his skull above his left eye.

        9.     On February 26, 2005, the Rolla Police Department arrested Acosta and Bonds for

the assault.



                                                  3
       10.      On February 27, 2005, the Prosecuting Attorney of Phelps County filed a felony

complaint against Acosta for assault in the second degree, a Class C felony.

       11.      On July 11, 2005, the Prosecuting Attorney filed an Information against Acosta,

charging:

                    that the defendant [Acosta], in violation of Section 565.060,
                    RSMo., committed the class C felony of assault in the second
                    degree … in that on or about February 26, 2005, in the County of
                    Phelps, State of Missouri, the defendant recklessly caused serious
                    physical injury to Ian Anderson by teaming with Jason Bounds,
                    striking Mr. Anderson to the ground and continued striking in the
                    face with a closed fist hard enough to crack the bone underneath
                    his left eye.[5]

       12.      From August 2005 until June 2007, Acosta waited tables at the Red Lobster

restaurant in Jefferson City. The manager found Acosta to be professional and even tempered,

even when confronted with intoxicated or unruly customers.

       13.      Acosta attended the physical therapist assistant program at Linn State Technical

College from August 23, 2005, through August 14, 2007, on which date he received his associate

degree of applied science. During his attendance, Acosta achieved a 3.146 grade point average.

       14.      During his attendance, Acosta was held in esteem by his instructors as an intelligent

and conscientious student. His instructors saw that Acosta interacted appropriately with

instructors and students, tutored other students who needed help, and was “a good team player.”

He was viewed by instructors and patients in clinical situations as a good problem solver and as

professional and compassionate.

       15.      On February 10, 2007, Acosta, his attorney, and the Prosecuting Attorney for

Phelps County signed a “Memorandum of Plea Bargain,” in which the Prosecuting Attorney




       5
           Ex. A.

                                                     4
promised to amend the charge to assault in the third degree and Acosta promised to plead guilty

to the reduced charge.

        16.    On March 29, 2007, the Prosecuting Attorney filed an Amended Information in

Pulaski County against Acosta charging:6

                 that the defendant, in violation of Section 565.070, RSMo,
                 committed the class A misdemeanor of assault in the third degree .
                 . . in that on or about February 26, 2005, in the County of Phelps,
                 State of Missouri, the defendant caused physical injury to Ian
                 Anderson by striking him in the face with his fist.[7]

        17.    On August 20, 2007, Acosta submitted his application to the Board.

        18.    In the application, Acosta signed the “Applicant’s Oath” in which he averred, “All

statements I have made are true.”

        19.    Acosta answered “yes” to Question 16 on the application, which asks:

                 Have you been arrested, charged, indicted, found guilty, or entered
                 a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, in a criminal prosecution under
                 the laws of any U.S. state or any Canadian province whether or not
                 sentence was imposed, including suspended imposition of sentence
                 or suspended execution of sentence?[8]

        20.    Acosta accompanied the application with his two-page version of what happened in

regard to the events leading up to the four-count charge against him in Pennsylvania. He also

included the court’s docket sheets to show the charges and their disposition.

        21.    Acosta did not disclose or include anything with the application in regard to his

arrest or the felony complaint filed against him in the Associate Division of the Circuit Court of

Phelps County or the Information or Amended Information filed against him in the Circuit Court.

        22.    By letter dated January 30, 2008, the Board denied Acosta's Application.



         6
           Pulaski County is in the same Judicial Circuit as Phelps. No docket sheet or other pleading was presented
into evidence to show a change of venue, but we assume such an order was granted.
         7
           Ex. B.
         8
           Ex. C.

                                                         5
       23.   The criminal proceedings against Acosta in connection with the assault were still

pending as of the date of our hearing.

                                          Conclusions of Law

       We have jurisdiction to hear Acosta's complaint.9 Acosta has the burden to show that he

is entitled to licensure.10 We exercise the same authority that has been granted to the Board.11

Therefore, we simply decide the application anew.12 The Board's answer provides notice of the

grounds for denial of the application.13

                                          I. Applicable Statutes

       Acosta submitted his application under § 334.665, which provides:

               1. An applicant who has not been previously examined in another
               jurisdiction and meets the qualifications of subsection 1 of section
               334.655 may pay a temporary license fee and submit an
               agreement-to-supervise form which is signed by the applicant's
               supervising physical therapist to the board and obtain without
               examination a nonrenewable temporary license.

Section 334.655.1 provides:

               1. A candidate for licensure to practice as a physical therapist
               assistant shall be at least nineteen years of age. A candidate shall
               furnish evidence of the person's good moral character and of the
               person's educational qualifications. The educational requirements
               for licensure as a physical therapist assistant are:

               (1) A certificate of graduation from an accredited high school or its
               equivalent; and

               (2) Satisfactory evidence of completion of an associate degree
               program of physical therapy education accredited by the
               commission on accreditation of physical therapy education.




       9
        Section 621.045. Statutory references, unless otherwise noted, are to RSMo Supp. 2007.
       10
          Section 621.120, RSMo 2000.
       11
          J.C. Nichols Co. v. Director of Revenue, 796 S.W.2d 16, 20 (Mo. banc 1990).
       12
          State Bd. of Regis’n for the Healing Arts v. Finch, 514 S.W.2d 608, 614 (Mo. App., K.C.D. 1974).
       13
           Ballew v. Ainsworth, 670 S.W.2d 94, 103 (Mo. App., E.D. 1984).

                                                      6
       The Board’s answer does not contend that Acosta fails to meet any of the qualifications

in §§ 334.665.1 or 334.655.1. Rather, the Board relies upon § 334.100, which provides:

                  1. The board may refuse to issue or renew any certificate of
                  registration or authority, permit or license required pursuant to
                  this chapter for one or any combination of causes stated in
                  subsection 2 of this section.

                                                    * * *

                  2. The board may cause a complaint to be filed . . . for any one or
                  any combination of the following causes:

                                                    * * *

                  (2) The person has been finally adjudicated and found guilty . . . in
                  a criminal prosecution under the laws of any state . . . for any
                  offense an essential element of which is . . . an act of violence, or
                  for any offense involving moral turpitude, whether or not sentence
                  is imposed;

                  (3) Use of fraud, deception, misrepresentation . . . in securing any
                  certificate of registration or authority, permit or license issued
                  pursuant to this chapter or in obtaining permission to take any
                  examination given or required pursuant to this chapter;

                  (4) . . . dishonesty [or] unethical conduct . . . in the performance of
                  the functions or duties of any profession licensed or regulated by
                  this chapter[.]

(Emphasis added.)

                                        II. Pennsylvania Conviction

       The Board contends that Acosta's Pennsylvania conviction is cause to deny because

simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and firearms carried without a license

have as an essential element an act of violence and because they involve moral turpitude.14




       14
            Ballew v. Ainsworth, 670 S.W.2d 94, 103 (Mo. App., 1984)

                                                       7
                               A. Finally Adjudicated and Found Guilty

        Acosta admits that he was “finally adjudicated and found guilty” of the crimes listed in

the Pennsylvania court records, which he submitted with his application.

                            B. An Act of Violence as an Essential Element

        The issue under § 334.100.2(2) is whether the offenses have “an essential element of

which is … an act of violence[.]” The question is not whether Acosta is in fact guilty of an act of

violence; it is whether each of the offenses for which he was found guilty is one necessitating

proof of an act of violence-that is, always requiring that an act of violence be present as an

element of the offense.15

        The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, has discussed definitions of “violence”

as follows:16

                 Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines “violence”
                 as an “exertion of any physical force so as to injure or abuse,”
                 Webster's Third New International Dictionary 2554 (1993). We
                 adopted this definition of violence in interpreting section 217.385
                 in State v. Lee, 708 S.W.2d at 231. Merriam Webster's Collegiate
                 Dictionary similarly defines “violence” as “intense, turbulent, or
                 furious and often destructive action or force,” Merriam Webster's
                 Collegiate Dictionary 1319 (10th Ed.1994).

                 These definitions of violence are consistent with the definition our
                 courts have given the word violence in other contexts. See, e.g.,
                 State v. Hawkins, 418 S.W.2d 921, 924 (Mo. banc 1967)
                 (“ ‘violence’ may consist of violent, menacing, turbulent, and
                 threatening action or procedure”); Boecker v. Aetna Cas. & Sur.
                 Co., 281 S.W.2d 561, 564 (Mo.App.1955) (in the context of an
                 automobile accident, the court, citing Webster's New International
                 Dictionary, 2nd Ed., broadly defined violence as “the exertion of
                 any physical force considered with reference to its effect on
                 another than the agent”); Agee v. Employers' Liability Assur.
                 Corporation, Limited, of London, Eng., 213 Mo.App. 693, 253


        15
           State ex rel. Atkins v. Missouri State Bd. of Accountancy, 351 S.W.2d 483, 485 (Mo. App. KCD. 1961).
        16
           State v. Mack, 12 S.W.3d 349, 352 (Mo. App., W.D. 2000). We relied upon this authority to define
violence in our order granting partial summary determination in State Board of Nursing v. Miller, No. 07-1290
(Jan. 9, 2008) incorporated into our final decision on January 16, 2008.

                                                      8
               S.W. 46, 48 (1923) (violence defined as “physical force; force
               unlawfully exercised”).

               These definitions of violence are also consistent with the definition
               of violence in Black's Law Dictionary, which defines violence as
               “[u]njust or unwarranted use of force, . . . accompanied by fury,
               vehemence, or outrage; physical force unlawfully exercised with
               the intent to harm”, Black's Law Dictionary 1564 (7th Ed.1999),
               and to its definition under statutes dealing with issues such as
               domestic violence and violence in schools.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2705 provides:

               A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he
               recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another
               person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6106(a) provides:

                (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a
               firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm
               concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or
               fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license
               under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.

18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2701 provides:

               (a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of assault if he:

               (1) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly
               causes bodily injury to another;

       The Board presents no authority to show that any of these offenses requires an act of

violence. The crime defined at 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2705 requires only conduct that “places or may

place another in danger of death or serious bodily injury.” Placing someone in such a situation

does not require an exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse, nor does it require an

intense, turbulent, furious or destructive action or force. The same is true of the assault offense

defined in 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2701(a)(1) because its essential elements include the alternative of

“attempt to cause” bodily injury. 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 901(a) provides: “A person commits an

attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, he does any act which constitutes a

                                                  9
substantial step toward the commission of that crime.” “An attempt under § 2702(a)(1) requires

a showing of some act, albeit not one causing serious bodily injury, accompanied by an intent to

inflict serious bodily injury.”17 The Board has shown us nothing in Pennsylvania law that

requires “some act” to be a violent one.

        In regard to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6106, all that is required is the carrying of a firearm without a

license. No violent act is required.

        We conclude that the crimes for which Acosta was convicted are not those for which an

essential element is an act of violence.

                                  C. Offense Involving Moral Turpitude

        Moral turpitude is:

                 an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social
                 duties which a man owes to his fellowman or to society in general,
                 contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty
                 between man and man; everything “done contrary to justice,
                 honesty, modesty, and good morals.”[18]

In Brehe v. Missouri Dep’t of Elementary and Secondary Education,19 which involved

discipline of a teacher’s certificate under § 168.071 for committing a crime involving moral

turpitude, the court referred to three classifications of crimes:20

    (1) crimes that necessarily involve moral turpitude, such as frauds (Category 1 crimes);

    (2) crimes “so obviously petty that conviction carries no suggestion of moral turpitude,” such

        as illegal parking (Category 2 crimes); and

    (3) crimes where the offense does not necessarily involve moral turpitude, but where an

        inquiry into the related circumstances would tend to show moral turpitude, such as willful


        17
           Com. v. Matthew, 589 Pa. 487,491, 909 A.2d 1254, 1257 (Pa.,2006).
        18
           In re Frick, 694 S.W.2d 473, 479 (Mo. banc 1985) (quoting In re Wallace, 19 S.W.2d 625
(Mo. banc 1929)).
        19
           213 S.W.3d 720 (Mo. App., W.D. 2007).
        20
           Id. at 725 (quoting Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. v. Lardner, 216 F.2d 844, 852 (9th Cir. 1954)).

                                                       10
        failure to pay income tax or refusal to answer questions before a congressional

        committee (Category 3 crimes).

       Assault-related offenses, including those involving unlawful use of a firearm, are

Category 3 crimes. “The circumstances surrounding an assault related crime may establish an

offense involving moral turpitude.”21 In an attorney discipline case, the Supreme Court found

moral turpitude in circumstances similar to those involving Acosta's use of his gun:

                  We believe that a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that
                  respondent did engage in illegal conduct involving moral turpitude.
                  Respondent went to the university property carrying a handgun.
                  When caught committing the act of vandalism, he used this gun to
                  avoid capture. He deliberately pointed and then discharged the
                  weapon in the direction of two individuals on security patrol. He
                  knowingly placed these people in fear for their lives.[22]

       Acosta helped precipitate, through his intemperate initial response to the driver behind

him, a “road rage” incident that involved Acosta shooting his gun out of the window of his

moving car into traffic on public roads. He could have hit innocent people. The entire

circumstances show an indulgence of Acosta's own temper and a total lack of concern for the

safety of others. His offenses under 13 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 2701(a)(1) and 2705 involved moral

turpitude. However, the offense of not having his firearm license does not involve moral

turpitude.

       There is cause to deny Acosta's application under § 334.100.2(2) for having been finally

adjudicated and found guilty of offenses involving moral turpitude.

                                      III. Failure to Disclose Arrest
                               and Felony Complaint for Phelps County Offense

       The Board contends that Acosta purposely did not disclose his arrest and charge by

felony complaint for the assault in Phelps County with his application.


       21
            In re Frick, 694 S.W.2d 473, 478 (Mo. banc 1985).
       22
            Id.

                                                       11
        Section 334.100.2(3) provides cause to deny an application for use of fraud, deception or

misrepresentation to secure a license. Fraud is an intentional perversion of truth to induce

another to act in reliance upon it.23 It requires the intent that others rely on the

misrepresentation.24 “Concealment of a material fact of a transaction, which a party has the duty

to disclose, constitutes fraud as actual as by affirmative misrepresentation.”25 That duty arises

when the concealer has superior knowledge.26 We may infer fraudulent intent from the

circumstances of the case.27 A misrepresentation is a falsehood or untruth made with the intent of

deceit rather than inadvertent mistake.28 To “deceive” is “to cause to accept as true or valid what

is false or invalid.”29

        Acosta knew at the time he submitted his application on August 20, 2007, that he had

been arrested for the assault in Phelps County more than two years earlier on February 26, 2005,

and had been charged by felony complaint on February 27, 2006. Acosta answered “yes” to

Question 16, which asked whether he had ever been arrested or charged in the criminal

prosecution of any state. The application form indicated that if the applicant answered yes to any

of the questions 9 through 20, the applicant should “see separate instructions.” There is no

evidence of what the “separate instructions” may have directed an applicant to do if the applicant

answered “yes” to Question 16. However, although Acosta included with his application

information and records about his Pennsylvania prosecution, he submitted nothing to notify the

Board of the Phelps County arrest and charge. Acosta raised no defense at the hearing about




        23
           Hernandez v. State Bd. of Regis’n for Healing Arts, 936 S.W.2d 894, 899 n.2 (Mo. App., W.D. 1997).
        24
           Sofka v.Thal, 662 S.W.2d 502, 506 (Mo. banc 1983); see also Missouri Dental Board v. Bailey, 731
S.W.2d 272, 274-275 (Mo. App., W.D. 1987).
        25
           Daffin v. Daffin, 567 S.W.2d 672, 677 (Mo. App., K.C.D. 1978).
        26
           Nigro v. Research College of Nursing, 876 S.W.2d 681, 686 ((Mo. App., W.D. 1994).
        27
           Essex v. Getty Oil Co., 661 S.W.2d 544, 551 ((Mo. App., W.D. 1983).
        28
           Hernandez, 936 S.W.2d at 899 n.3.
        29
           MERRIAM-WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 321 (11 th ed. 2004).

                                                      12
whether the separate instructions confused him. Question 16 clearly asks about arrests and

charges regardless of whether they ended in findings of guilt. Whether the separate instructions

required Acosta to submit criminal records or not, the fact that he submitted the records of one

criminal proceeding but not the other had the effect of misleading the Board to conclude that the

Pennsylvania proceedings were the only criminal proceedings that Acosta had been a party to. It

is fair to infer that Acosta did not reveal the Phelps County prosecution because it was so much

closer in time to his application than the Pennsylvania conviction and because Acosta's actions

resulted in serious injury to Anderson.

       On cross-examination, Acosta testified:30

                        A. I was rushing through the application. It's a long
                   application. And it asked me about a criminal record. Generally
                   when I see those questions it's whether or not I've been convicted
                   of crimes. I volunteered the information in Pennsylvania because I
                   had been convicted of those crimes, but I hadn't been convicted of
                   anything in Pulaski County. So I didn't volunteer that information.
                   I thought it was more about convictions than anything else.

                        Q. But it clearly said arrests; you saw that?

                      A. I even read it to my lawyer. I don't know.
                   Miscommunication. He thought it was I should just write about
                   conviction also. I should have. I don't know.

We do not find Acosta's explanation credible. Question 16 explicitly asks about arrests and

charges. Either Acosta did not accurately advise the attorney of the question or Acosta did not

receive any such advice. We conclude that Acosta realized how omitting any mention of the

Phelps County arrest and charge would deceive the Board to his advantage and that he purposely

deprived the Board of this knowledge so that the Board would not use this information to deny his

application. There is cause to deny Acosta's application under § 334.100.2(3) for such conduct.




       30
            Tr. at 76-77.

                                                     13
       The Board also asserts that Acosta's failure to reveal the Phelps County arrest and charge

constitutes dishonest and unethical conduct, which is cause for denial under § 334.100.2(4).

However, the evidence fails to show that this conduct was “in the performance of the functions

or duties” of his profession. A person cannot be engaged in the functions or duties of a licensed

profession until he or she is allowed to practice. Applicants for a license, by law, are not

authorized to practice the profession whose license they seek. Acosta, as an applicant, was not

yet authorized to perform as a temporary physical therapist assistant. Therefore, there is no

cause for denial under § 334.100.2(4) because any alleged dishonest or unethical conduct Acosta

committed could not have been in the performance of the functions or duties of that profession.

                           IV. Failure to Disclose Filing of Information

       The Board contends that Acosta failed to inform the Board that he was indicted for the

Phelps County assault. The evidence shows that Acosta was formally charged by Information,

and then by Amended Information, but not by indictment. However, Acosta did not indicate that

this mistake in the Board's terminology misled him in any way. The issue under this contention

is the same as under the Board's contention that Acosta did not reveal the arrest and felony

complaint. The Prosecuting Attorney filed the Information on July 11, 2005, more than two

years before Acosta filed the application, and an Amended Information on March 29, 2007, some

five months before Acosta submitted the application. The criminal proceedings were still

pending at the time Acosta filed the application. Acosta's refusal to reveal that the Information

and Amended Information were filed against him is cause to deny his application under

§ 334.100.2(3), for the same reasons as for his refusal to reveal the arrest and felony complaint.

Also, for the same reasons stated above, there is no cause for denial under § 334.100.2(4).




                                                 14
                                          V. Acosta's Response

       Section 334.100.1 provides that the Board “may” refuse to grant the application for the

causes in subsection 2. “May” means an option, not a mandate.31 The appeal vests in this

Commission the same degree of discretion as the Board has, and we need not exercise it in the

same way.32 We may consider rehabilitation as a reason for granting an application for licensure

despite there being facts that could serve as cause for denial.33 A rehabilitant should at least

acknowledge guilt and embrace a new moral code.34

       To establish rehabilitation, Acosta presented the manager of the restaurant where he

worked for two and a half years, who testified about his exemplary conduct during his work

there. Acosta also presented two instructors and the director of the physical therapist assistant

program at Linn State Technical School. They testified as to the propriety of Acosta's conduct

during his course work. However, they had only a limited awareness that he had a criminal

record and did not know any of the details of what happened in Pennsylvania or that he had more

recent problems in Phelps County.

       We are not persuaded that Acosta is entitled to the license he seeks. His conduct eight

years ago was violent and serious, but no one was hurt. His conduct only three years ago was

even more violent with the victim sustaining serious injuries. The incident was unprovoked and

vicious in that it involved two men beating up on another even after he was down. Acosta's

attempts to dismiss his past violent conduct as the product of being “young and stupid” shows a

lack of insight and a refusal to take full responsibility. While those who have worked with

Acosta and taught him in school are impressed, he is able to present certain characteristics to



       31
          S.J.V. ex rel. Blank v. Voshage, 860 S.W.2d 802, 804 (Mo. App., E.D. 1993).
       32
          State Bd. of Regis'n for the Healing Arts v. Finch, 514 S.W.2d 608, 614 (Mo. App., K.C.D. 1974).
       33
          Finch, 514 S.W.2d at 616-17.
       34
          Francois v. State Bd. of Regis'n for the Healing Arts, 880 S.W.2d 601, 603 (Mo. App., E.D. 1994).

                                                     15
those at work and school and different characteristics privately, as shown by his capacity to serve

as president of the Student Government Association at East Central College in Rolla around the

same time that he assaulted Anderson. Acosta has not persuaded us that there has been any

significant or permanent change in him.

       The license Acosta seeks will bring him into close physical contact with patients and

others. The primary purpose of professional licensing is to protect the public.35 And “the license

granted places the seal of the state’s approval upon the licen[see.]”36 The evidence, even when

considered in a light favorable to Acosta, still presents substantial doubts about Acosta's

character. We resolve those doubts in favor of protecting the public and against granting

Acosta's application.

                                                   Summary

       We exercise our discretion and deny Acosta’s application.

       SO ORDERED on November 5, 2008.



                                                         ________________________________
                                                         JOHN J. KOPP
                                                         Commissioner




       35
            Lane v. State Comm. of Psychologists, 954 S.W.2d 23, 25 (Mo. App., E.D. 1997).
       36
            State ex rel. Lentine v. Sate Bd. of Health, 65 S.W.2d 943, 950 (Mo. 1933).

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