FARGO - An investigative panel of the state Board of Medical Examiners is seeking to suspend indefinitely the medical license of a Fargo surgeon accused of drugging a female acquaintance with the painkiller propofol and raping her in his home.

Administrative Law Judge Allen Hoberg heard the panel's request Tuesday. He's expected to issue his recommendation soon, after which the full board will make the final decision on whether to suspend Jon Norberg's license, said Duane Houdek, the board's executive secretary.

Norberg, 41, faces up to life in prison if convicted of the Class AA felony charge of gross sexual imposition filed against him in August in Cass County District Court. He has pleaded not guilty and is on voluntary leave from Sanford Health.

The medical board filed a complaint against Norberg on July 26, alleging unprofessional conduct and gross negligence for administering a dangerous drug. Norberg signed an agreement the next day stating that he wouldn't administer propofol, which is normally restricted to use in a hospital setting.

Norberg and his attorney didn't attend Tuesday's hearing in Bismarck, Houdek said.

Norberg's next court appearance is set for Jan. 3.