Professor Gennadij Raivich, a neuroscientist and expert in maternal and fetal medicine from North London, escaped jail time after molesting one of his clients who participated in his “one-stop-shop” program. The program was a sperm donor ‘breeding program’ that Raivich advertised on the Internet to artificially inseminate women who were desperate to start a family.
Raivick, 52, claims to have fathered 58 children. Artificial insemination is largely controversial because it opens up Pandora’s box of genetic engineering, pre-implantation diagnosis, embryonic stem cell harvest and animal-human hybrids.
The academic – who has three children of his own – visited the women at home and pretended he was trying to help them. But a court heard how Raivich ‘exploited’ women who were ‘desperate to conceive’ from his own ‘sexual gratification’.
He even told victim Claire Long that her chances of becoming pregnant would be increased if she orgasmed during the insemination process, the court was told.
The professor, an expert in maternal and foetal medicine who worked at University College London, was found guilty in July this year of sexually assaulting Ms Long. He was cleared of abusing two other women.
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But he avoided being jail today after the judge said he had already suffered a loss of reputation and employment. Judge Deva Pillay told him: ‘Publicly it is said you were an internationally recognised and respected scientific researcher, however in private you led a more questionable lifestyle.
‘Using the pseudonym Frank Qualman you surfed the internet offering your services as a sperm donor to women desperate to conceive.
‘These were informal and devoid of the usual regulations and safeguards and the Crown say you exploited your anonymity and your clients’ desperation to conceive to obtain sexual gratification.’
When traveling from home to home, Raivick carried a ‘donation kit’ with him, which contained pornography, rubber gloves and laboratory equipment. The trial centered on the testimony of Claire Long who met Raivick in September 2012. At the time, she couldn’t afford to pay for private fertility treatment and the National Health Service wouldn’t treat her because she was single.
Long claimed that she was subjected to unwanted touching and was taken advantage of by Raivick. She also did not conceive as a result of her contact with the professor.
However, after Raivick’s arrest, 15 women came to his defense, including a police officer, a teacher and a lecturer. Some of the women had two or more of his children via Artificial Insemination. Raivick’s lawyer, William Clegg QC, said his client is innocent because the victim was engaging in consensual oral sex with the defendant at the time.