British Abortion Practitioner Gets Eight Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

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

British Abortion Practitioner Gets Eight Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 23
, 2008

London, England ( — A British abortion practitioner found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage patient after learning she was pregnant is headed to prison. Rashid Sandhu, who worked at James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, will head to prison for eight years after a sentencing hearing on Friday.

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

After the girl approached authorities with the accusations, police found more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer.

The court also heard that Sandhu asked the teenager if he could take a picture of her naked body and made sexual remarks to her.

Sandhu had pleaded guilty to 17 charges related to the child pornography but denied the sexual assault charge. A jury returned a guilty verdict at the end of April.

According to the Fenland Citizen, defense attorney John Donnolly said Sandhu was a good student whose medical career is very likely finished.

"It’s a tragedy. He is from an especially hard working military family in Pakistan and was an exceptional student. Among his peer group, he was top of the class," he said.

Investigating officer Detective Inspector Matt Sharman told the Norwich Evening News, “As with all cases where children are the victims of abuse my thoughts are with the girl involved."

“She and her family have behaved with real maturity throughout the investigation and it is my sincere hope that she can now put the matter behind her," he said.

“Dr Sandhu was working in a position of ultimate trust and he betrayed that trust. His actions may have lasting effects for which it is only right that he should be punished," Sharman added.

According to an earlier BBC report, the girl and a 15-year-old friend went to the hospital’s emergency room after thinking they may have become pregnant. Tests showed they were not pregnant, and Sandhu prescribed a medication for a urinary tract infection.

Sandhu reportedly called the older teen on the phone after the first visit, said it is possible both teens may be pregnant, and asked them to return to his office for another appointment.

Sandhu reportedly asked the younger teen into a private room and told her she could be pregnant. The teen requested an abortion and police began investigating after she told them Sandhu did an abortion on her.

James Paget University Hospital had suspended Sandhu from his position there at the beginning of the case last year.

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.