by Steven Ertelt
January 31, 2008
Appleton, WI (LifeNews.com) — Authorities are not surprised given that he has likely fled to his native India, but 34-year-old Manish Patel did not show up for a scheduled court date on Wednesday. Patel stands accused of spiking his girlfriend’s drink with a dangerous abortion drug to cause her baby to die.
Meanwhile, officials wonder who is managing the stores and hotels the Indian businessman owns throughout the state.
According to the New Richmond Times, Patel apparently left a power of attorney for the businesses. Gary Shortess, Outagamie County sheriffs sergeant, says officials are looking into whether Patel’s friends and family there are minding his assets after he fled from authorities.
He said the criminal charges in connection with the case will stay open until he returns or is extradited back to the United States to face trial.
Patel forfeited a $750,000 cash bond he posted in December with the help of friends and family and a hearing is scheduled in March to determine if they should receive their money or if some of it should be awarded to the victim, Darshana Patel, Manish’s 39 year-old girlfriend who is unrelated to him.
Judge John Des Jardins ruled last week that Patel has given up the rights associated with the bail money.
Darshana has filed a request to have some of the bond money go to her to reimburse her for money she alleges Manish took from her.
According to a Gannett Newspapers report, officials also say Patel’s bond should be forfeited because he has attempted to contact Darshana repeatedly since fleeing.
Manish Patel has been charged with attempted first-degree homicide of an unborn child, six other felonies and two misdemeanors. He is accused of obtaining the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug from India and putting it in Darshana’s drink.
Darshana never drank the concoction but turned it over to authorities after suspecting foul play. Tests revealed the presence of the mifepristone abortion drug.
The first crime is a result of a law pro-life advocates pushed for to provide protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children when they are victims of attack.
Wisconsin’s Fetal Homicide Law was enacted in 1998.
The law recognizes unborn children as separate victims when they are killed or injured as the result of violence directed toward the unborn child’s mother or the unborn child by a third party. The law applies regardless of the gestational age of the unborn child.
According to the National Right to Life Committee, 35 states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances.
Some 25 of those laws protect pregnant women and their unborn children throughout pregnancy and another 10 offer justice only after viability.
Tom Zoesch was representing Manish Patel in the case, but the prominent attorney took his name off earlier this month.
The abortion drug has been responsible for killing 13 women worldwide and injuring another 1,100 in the United States alone.