PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

Doctor Charged In Sex Assaults On Two Patients

By Candace Rondeaux
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 7, 2007

A doctor has been charged with sexually assaulting two female patients in his Capitol Heights office this year, police said yesterday.

Brian A. Chigbue allegedly assaulted the women during visits to his office in February and September, records show. A 24-year-old patient who consulted Chigbue on Sept. 27 told Prince George's County authorities that Chigbue attempted to have sex with her on an examination table in his office. Reeling from shock, the woman immediately left the office and called police from her home, according to charging documents filed late last week.

Another assault occurred Feb. 16 in Chigbue's office, in the 7900 block of Central Avenue, the documents said. A patient told police that Chigbue started to rape her during an examination. When the woman asked what he was doing, the documents said, Chigbue replied, "You're just so pretty."

The woman informed police of the incident about a month later after a friend persuaded her to report it, records show.

The Washington Post generally does not publish the names of victims of sexual assault.

Phone calls to Chigbue's home and office were not returned yesterday.

Chigbue, 46, of the 3400 block of Bitterwood Place in Laurel, graduated from the American University of the Caribbean medical school in 1989, according to Maryland Board of Physicians records. A general practitioner, he completed his residency at Meharry Medical College in Nashville before being granted a medical license in Maryland in April 1996. His license is scheduled to expire in September.

Karen Wulff, a policy analyst and spokeswoman for the board, said yesterday that Chigbue's medical license remains active. She said board rules bar her from saying whether Chigbue is under investigation.

If the board determines that he is guilty of misconduct, Chigbue could face a range of punishments, including revocation of his medical license. Under board rules, a doctor convicted of "moral turpitude" is automatically suspended until the case is heard by the board. If the board determines that there has been wrongdoing, the license is revoked, Wulff said.

Chigbue worked with the Cignet Health Center in Temple Hills for three years before starting his practice about four years ago, said Dan Austin, administrative director at Cignet, a Christian-influenced health center. Austin, who worked with Chigbue, said Chigbue had no history of complaints and earned nothing but praise from clients and co-workers.

"He was an excellent physician," Austin said.

Austin said he has not talked with Chigbue since he left Cignet to start his practice, Ruach HaKodesh Medical, a reference to a Hebrew name for the holy spirit. Austin said Chigbue was especially interested in stories from the Old Testament.

In a court hearing yesterday, Prince George's District Court Judge Patrice E. Lewis set bond at $100,000 over the objection of prosecutors, who said the doctor could be a flight risk.

Staff researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company