Doctor says he was examining, not fondling - East Valley Tribune: News

Doctor says he was examining, not fondling

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Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 9:48 am | Updated: 1:32 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A Valley abortion doctor presented himself in testimony Tuesday as a caring and thorough doctor, countering testimony of 35 women who said he fondled or penetrated them without their consent during examinations.

Dr. Brian Finkel spent a little more than four hours on the witness stand, much of the time used to explain in detail each touch and how it is used to detect disease and abnormalities in breast and pelvic exams.

"When you bother to look, you find things," said Finkel, who on a couple occasions used poster-size anatomy diagrams to aid in his explanation to jurors.

Many of the women who have testified in the nineweek trial in Maricopa County Superior Court said they believe Finkel’s touching was fondling when compared with other examinations they’ve had.

Prosecutor Blaine Gadow has not cross-examined the physician yet.

Finkel also denied other allegations against him such as being alone with undressed patients, waking sedated patients by touching their breasts, and giving unnecessary breast and pelvic exams immediately after abortions.

When answering about a specific allegation, Finkel would often respond like a soldier, snapping to attention by saying, "No sir."

At one point, Finkel said the process of sedating patients without first giving a breast or pelvic exam, followed by the state’s expert witness was "gross malpractice."

Finkel, 53, is charged with 66 counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault, offenses that carry stiff enough penalties that he could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted on even a few.

Also on Tuesday, Judge Jeffrey Cates took under advisement a defense motion to dismiss 38 charges.

Finkel’s attorney argued that the charges should be dismissed because the dates of the alleged crimes on the indictment do not conform with testimony or Finkel’s medical records.

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