Abortion Practitioner in Oregon Convicted of Harassing Patients
by Steven Ertelt
February 14, 2004
Bend, OR (LifeNews.com) — The second abortion practitioner in as many months has been convicted of harassing patients. This time, Ronald Stevenson, of Oregon, was convicted on two counts of inappropriately touching or kissing a patient.
Stevenson appeared in the Deschutes County Circuit Court on Friday and, according to the Bend Tribune newspaper, agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors that reduced his original charges, five counts of felony and misdemeanor sexual abuse.
Darryl Nakahira, senior deputy district attorney, was pleased with the agreement.
"We evaluated the case and thought about where we wanted to end up as far as criminal charges," Nakahira told the Bend newspaper. "There is certainty in this resolution, whereas if we went to trial, there is no certainty on either side."
Stevenson, an OBGYN who sometimes performs abortions, 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.
"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," the woman said, according to a police interview transcript.
As a result of the plea agreement, Stevenson will be on probation for five years and cannot have any contact with the victim. He may be required to seek counseling. However, during his sentencing, the abortion practitioner could face up to one year in jail for each count.
In addition, Stevenson cannot practice medicine in the state again unless he notifies the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners two weeks in advance and provides them with detailed information of where he will practice and what he’ll be doing.
He would have to have a board-approved chaperone with him during any examinations of female patients and would be subject to have his office inspected at any time.
Previously, Stevenson operated the Women’s Center of Bend, which opened in 2001, according to the secretary of state’s office. The clinic is closed. He also worked for the East Cascade Women’s Center in Bend.
In January, Arizona abortion practitioner Brian Finkel was sentenced to 34 years in prison after he 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.
Stevenson will be sentenced on February 23rd.