Another Abortion Practitioner Faces Sexual Abuse Charges

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 24, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Another Abortion Practitioner Faces Sexual Abuse Charges

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 24, 2003

Bend, OR ( — Another abortion practitioner is facing two charges of sexual abuse by patients. Ronald Stevenson of Oregon previously faced an accusation from a woman who says he caressed her after she awoke from anesthesia following an abortion.

Phoenix abortion practitioner Brian Finkel has been the subject of a lengthy trial involving more than 60 charges of abuse filed by over 30 women. A jury verdict has been expected for weeks concluding that trial.

Stevenson is charged in two cases of alleged sexual abuse by two women who were treated by him in April 2000.

Previously, Stevenson was charged with abuse in a case in Washington state that was dropped when investigators couldn’t get the woman involved to help gather more evidence.

In that case, a 26 year-old Seattle woman says she went to Stevenson for an abortion. Perhaps to not ruin his reputation as an OBGYN, Stevenson claimed that abortions were illegal in the county and that he could lose his job by performing the abortion.

Abortions are not illegal, but the woman told police she believed Stevenson.

She said she awoke from the anesthesia given her during the abortion to find Stevenson caressing her. She didn’t report the abuse until a friend of her sister’s said Stevenson treated her so inappropriately that she changed doctors.

"At the time I thought that an abortion would be a good idea," the woman said according to transcripts of a taped interview she gave police in October 1997. "But I thought that they were illegal in Okanogan County. And he (Stevenson) told me that he could perform an abortion for me. And that as long as I didn’t tell anybody, that it would be OK."

A nurse and the woman’s aunt were present during the abortion. Afterwards, they left the room.

As she woke up, the woman says Stevenson was touching her groin area, according to the Bend Bulletin newspaper. His head was near her neck and he was also touching her face.

"And I couldn’t do anything; I didn’t, I couldn’t stop him. I was under … a lot of drugs. I couldn’t do anything," she said, according to the transcript.

Prosecutors could not charge Stevenson because they claimed it was the woman’s word against his. Police wanted the woman to wear a wire and talk to Stevenson to gather more evidence. She never returned their calls and the case has been closed.

According to the Associated Press, a grand jury has indicted Stevenson with charges of second-degree sex abuse, a felony, and four counts of third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor in the latest cases. No other details about the two incidents were available.

Stevenson was also faced with another charge by a woman who says he began hugging her during office visits and eventually frenched kissed her, but that was later dropped after an investigation according to Seana Ash, Stevenson’s attorney.

Stevenson will enter a plea on December 8 to the two charges.

"Until the current court case, there have been no civil or criminal actions against Dr. Stevenson in his years of practice in Colorado, Washington and Oregon," Ash told the Bulletin newspaper.

Ash said that because Stevenson is also an OBGYN and that he deals with sensitive health issues, that he is more likely to get a complaint than from other doctors in other areas.

Not so says Kathleen Haley, executive director of the Oregon Medical Board, who says OBGYNs aren’t targeted any more for harassment complaints than other doctors.