Jury Selection Begins in Abortion Practitioner’s Abuse Trial

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 13, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Jury Selection Begins in Abortion Practitioner’s Abuse Trial

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 13, 2003

Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — Jury selection has begun in the trial of a Phoenix abortion practitioner accused of sexually abusing 35 women.

Brian Finkel is charged with 67 counts of abuse involving inappropriate touching of women’s private parts during examinations and abortions. He denies the charges.

Judge Jeffrey Cates of Maricopa County Superior Court began preliminary questioning of several of the 93 prospective jurors for the widely publicized case.

Cates expects opening statements to be presented Thursday, though jury selection may last the entire week.

The trial is expected to last two months and include 53 witnesses, including victims, Phoenix police, and other doctors.

In an email obtained by LifeNews.com, one of the abuse victims is upset with how the trial is proceeding and the lack of news coverage about it.

"It’s been frustrating for the victims.  When [Finkel] was arrested 2 years ago there was tons of coverage — now very little. There were 2 cameras in the courtroom last Friday but I never saw anything on the news," the victim said.

The victim said the judge may not allow Finkel’s staff — who failed to report the abuses to authorities out of fears Finkel would hurt them or their families — to testify at the trial.

"[Finkel’s attorney] has asked that Finkel’s nurses not be allowed to testify against him and the judge is taking it under advisement," the victim explained. "Our case is being ripped apart piece by piece. It’s humiliating and actually pretty scary."