Victims of Abortion Practitioner’s Abuse Feel "Vindicated"
by Steven Ertelt
December 7, 2003
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — The battle isn’t over yet, but the women who testified that Phoenix abortion practitioner Brian Finkel sexually harassed and abused them feel "vindicated" by last week’s guilty verdict.
Finkel, who performed about 20 percent of Arizona’s annual abortions, was found guilty of 22 counts of sexual abuse against women who complained he touched their breasts and private parts inappropriately during abortions and examinations.
Janet Jorgensen was one of the women who accused Finkel of taking advantage of her.
"For most of the victims it was a great day of vindication," Jorgensen told LifeNews.com. "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."
Jorgensen said her purpose in coming forward to police was to make sure Finkel couldn’t abuse more women.
That didn’t make the process any less painful or difficult.
"The day I testified and was cross-examined by Finkel’s attorney I thought, ‘nothing is worth this,’" Jorgenson said. "As soon as I heard the first ‘guilty’ verdict it made everything worthwhile."
Though there were 35 women whose charges were involved in the trial, more than 120 women came forward. There were many more who likely remained silent for fear of embarrassment or concerns about retaliation.
Pro-life attorney John Jakubczyk, who unsuccessfully attempted to prosecute Finkel for abuse a decade ago, told LifeNews.com, "When the investigation and indictments first made the news, there were hundreds of women who contacted the county attorney’s office with their own complaints of mistreatment."
Finkel’s attorney Richard Gierloff said he plans to appeal and will ask an appeals court to declare a new trial that would try each charge separately.
Gierloff knows that, if tried individually, the weight of the evidence against Finkel will be lessened and it is more likely Finkel would escape prosecution.
Jakubczyk said prosecutors should charge Finkel with additional counts of abuse and harassment to bolster their case and "acknowledge the crimes committed against these women."
Jorgensen, who said her own counts were among those thrown out, has no ill will towards Finkel, despite how he treated her and other patients.
"I pray for his salvation. I pray that someday he will understand what happened in this trial and what he did to all of the women. He truly does not believe he did anything wrong," Jorgensen explained.
One of the reasons the trial was successful, Jorgensen says, is because of the strong victims rights mentality at work in the case.
"We were allowed to be a part of the judicial process all the way. In some states we wouldn’t have even been allowed in the courtroom except to testify," she said.
Finkel will be sentenced on January 2, 2004 for his conviction of 22 counts of sexual abuse. Court experts speculate that he could get 20 years.
"You can be assured that I will be present," Jorgensen said.