by Steven Ertelt
March 15, 2005
Bloomfield Township, MI (LifeNews.com) — An abortion practitioner who is on trial for charges related to sexually abusing women on whom he performed abortions may have left the country. He failed to appear at a scheduled hearing last week.
After failing to appear in court last week, a judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Rodolfo Finkelstein, who faces two counts of first degree criminal sexual assault which could earn him a life term in prison
Another hearing had been scheduled for Monday, but defense attorneys requested a delay until March 21. That’s because it appears Finkelstein has fled.
Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Barbara Morrison told the Oakland Daily Press newspaper, "We believe he has left the country."
District Judge Kimberly Small increased Finkelstein’s bond last week and issued a warrant for his arrest. She could issue another warrant if he is required to stand trial and Morrison said she will ask for a trial on the abuse charges, whether or not he is present.
Finkelstein is married and has children, according to a Daily Press news report. He gave up his passport at his arraignment, but officials believe the native of Argentina may have a passport from that country or an alternate American passport.
Morrison said a detective confirmed to her that he left the country on March 1.
"We’re not sure if he is here or in Argentina," she said. "We are actively seeking his whereabouts."
If Finkelstein is in Argentina, Morrison said she would look into working with authorities in the South American country to extradite him back to the United States for the trial.
The hearings thus far have covered whether testimony from an ex-boyfriend and nurse who cared for one of Finkelstein’s victims can be admitted as evidence in the case. The victim has fled and is not cooperating with authorities.
Finkelstein has also been charged by local authorities with five other charges of criminal sexual conduct in addition to the two felony cases.
Two women on whom Finkelstein had performed abortions appeared in the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Township late last month in a preliminary hearing on the charges.
Much of the testimony of the women was graphic and a 21 year-old who had Finkelstein perform a second trimester abortion on her described his inappropriate advances and sexual acts.
Meanwhile, a 19 year-old woman who had an abortion in January 2003 at his abortion facility says Finkelstein kissed her and squeezed her buttocks following a post-abortion examination.
Police said Finkelstein made it a practice of seeing women alone for examinations and he kissed, fondled and sexually assaulted them when nurses were not around.
Finkelstein had performed abortions at the Women’s Advisory Centers in Livonia and Bloomfield Township.