Gynecologist Convicted of Sexual Abuse

The Associated Press
Thursday, November 17, 2005; 12:22 AM

SEATTLE -- A jury Wednesday convicted a gynecologist of raping and fondling women who came to his clinics for treatment.

Charles Momah pleaded not guilty last year to two counts of rape and two counts of indecent liberties with patients. The verdict _ guilty on all charges _ came after four days of deliberations.

He could face up to 16 years in prison.

Prosecutors alleged that Momah performed gynecological exams without wearing gloves, flirted with and touched patients inappropriately, and probed them unnecessarily with a vaginal ultrasound wand.

The documents also say the obstetrician-gynecologist prescribed addictive painkillers for no good medical reason, pressured patients into surgeries and double-billed insurance companies for procedures.

In closing arguments last week, Momah's defense attorney David Allen said the stories told in court by four former patients were "preposterous" and defied "common sense."

King County Deputy Prosecutor Roger Rogoff acknowledged some of the alleged victims' testimony wasn't pretty: One patient admitted she used Momah to get drugs, one admitted extorting him, and some continued to go to him after the alleged sexual contact.

But "each of them had a vulnerability" that Momah exploited, Rogoff said.

Clinics that Momah operated in Federal Way, Burien and Issaquah are now closed. The state suspended his medical license in 2003.

© 2005 The Associated Press