Trial Continues in Case of British Abortion Practitioner on Sexual Abuse Charges

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Trial Continues in Case of British Abortion Practitioner on Sexual Abuse Charges

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 23
, 2008

Norfolk, England ( — The trial of a British abortion practitioner accused of sexually abusing a teenage patient continued on Tuesday. Rashid Sandhu, who works at James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, supposedly was prompted by an addiction to child pornography to abuse a 13-year-old girl.

On Monday, Norwich Crown Court officials heard during the trial that Sandhu massaged a 13-year-old girl’s breasts while claiming he was doing an abortion on her.

On Tuesday, Sandhu admitted to having a stash of more than 170 pictures on his computer that showed children engaging in sexual acts.

The pictures were discovered after police arrested Sandhu on the sexual molestation charges.

The Pakistani native supposedly rubbed the girl’s breasts with a gel during a procedure he said was an abortion after allegedly telling her that a negative pregnancy test turned up positive.

Prosecutor Matthew McNiff told the court Sandhu was obsessed with child porn to the extent that he asked the teenager to pose in the same manner as one of his favorite pictures.

“He saw the opportunity to pursue this obsession to another level. He chose to act on this dark, deep urge," he told the court, according to a Lowestoft Journal report.

He indicated Sandhu initially conducted pregnancy tests on the teen and a 15-year-old friend that both came back negative. McNiff said Sandhu called both girls to return to his office so he could spend time with the younger teen, not for any legitimate medical purpose.

“There was no medical reason to make that call. That series of calls was in the face of known and established reality," he said, according to the newspaper.

McNiff told the court Sandhu massaged the teen’s breasts and inserted a tube into her vagina and told her to assume a sexual position so he could photograph her.

“He was not acting in a lawfully or legitimate medical capacity. It was clear that this was sexual," McNiff said.

The newspaper said the younger teen also talked with the court during the hearing and said Sandhu made her feel uncomfortable.

“There was something not quite right about that doctor. I was just really upset. I was weak," she said.

Sandhu’s defense attorney John Donelly told the court an entirely different story.

He said the teenagers were upset Sandhu didn’t offer them the morning after pill and that they became abusive and hurled racial insults at him after he refused to give them the drugs.

Sandhu has pleaded innocent to the sexual assault charges.

This isn’t the first time an abortion practitioner has been accused of sexually abusing patients.

Former Oregon Planned Parenthood abortion practitioner George Kabacy pleaded guilty in Washington state in November for engaging in and advertising child porn.

A New York state appeals court ruled in 2007 that Akiva Abraham couldn’t get his medical license back after having sex with a patient at his office and a local hospital.

Court records show that Abraham, who practiced in Clifton Park, was accused of having sex with a 25-year-old patient suffering from anxiety and depression on the same day he was slated to do an abortion on her.

In 2006, British abortion practitioner Benjamin Deodhar received a four year prison term after being convicted on multiple counts of sexually harassing his patients. Deodhar was accused of sexually harassing six patients from a period between September 1991 and December 2004.

In California, Laurence Reich had his medical license revoked in 2005 for molesting patients.

In 2005, Michigan abortion practitioner Rodolfo Finkelstein faced a trial over allegations that he sexually assaulted women following abortion procedures.

In 2004, Ronald Stevenson, of Oregon, was convicted on two counts of inappropriately touching or kissing a patient.

And in 2003, Phoenix abortion practitioner Brian Finkel was convicted of sexually abusing 35 women during examinations and abortions, some of them repeatedly.