Abortion Practitioner Guilty of Sexual Abuse Will Appeal

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 4, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Practitioner Guilty of Sexual Abuse Will Appeal

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 4, 2003

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — As expected, Brian Finkel, a Phoenix abortion practitioner who was found guilty of guilty of 22 counts of sexual abuse, has appealed the verdict. Finkel faced abuse charges from more than 60 women who complained he inappropriately touched them and, in some cases, their sexual organs, during abortions and examinations.

Finkel is scheduled for sentencing on January 2, and Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said prosecutors are still trying to determine how long Finkel will be in jail. He could serve up to 75 years in prison.

Richard Gierloff, Finkel’s attorney, said he was surprised Finkel was convicted of so many of the charges.

"We’ll appeal, and we’ll also move for a new trial," Gierloff told the East Valley Tribune. "We should have received separate trials on each count, and I think the number of acquittals shows that to be true."

Pro-life attorney John Jacubczyk, president of Arizona Right to Life, has filed suit against Finkel on previous occasions on behalf of women who said they had abused them or touched them inappropriately. Finkel escaped punishment in those cases.

Jacubczyk said Finkel will have a hard time overturning the guilty verdicts.

"Considering the time and attention that the jury took in rendering its verdict and the law which supported the judge’s decision to try the cases all at once, Finkel will have a difficult road ahead," Jacubczyk told LifeNews.com

"Fortunately he will sit in prison while the appeal moves forward," Jacubczyk added, meaning Finkel will "do no more killing and abusing."

Dozens of women testified that Finkel groped or touched them and that was enough for the jury to issue a verdict against Finkel after deliberating for fourteen days. Though they had never met each other, the victims told of similar patterns of harassment.

Janet Jorgensen was one of the women whose charges were not one of the 22 on which Finkel was convicted, likely because it was one of the oldest "which made it hard for the jury to decipher evidence."

Jorgensen told LifeNews.com the women who had accused Finkel of mistreating them were ecstatic at the news of his conviction.

"Most of the victims are thrilled with the verdict," she said. "For most of the victims it was a great day of vindication. Though many of the counts came back as ‘not guilty’ it is wonderful to know that Mr. Finkel will no longer be able to hurt women."

Women such as Ebone Jordan, who had accused Finkel of abusing her, applauded the verdict saying "we got you" to Finkel on the way out of the courthouse.

Finkel may have been stunned by the verdict.

During the trial, Finkel conducted himself with a confident, if not arrogant, manner. He winked at one woman on the stand, which caused her to break down in tears and the judge had to temporarily halt the trial. In another instance, Finkel waved to a group of accusers sitting together and said, "Hi girls."

However, a prison spokesman said Finkel absolutely did not want to talk to the media, even though he normally relished the attention.

Finkel claimed he did nothing wrong and that the touching of women’s breasts and private parts were part of standard medical procedure.

Finkel’s attorney Richard Gierloff also claimed that police had put ideas the heads of the victim by asking them questions with specifics when they did not remember exactly what had happened. Gierloff said testimony during the trial from several women didn’t match the original description of the allegations given to police.

"It was his total lack of regard for the women that [was] his downfall," John Jakubczyk, president of Arizona Right to Life, told LifeNews.com.

Finkel performs approximately 20 percent of all abortions in Arizona and has done more than 20,000 over his career.