Dr. Demento

This story is just outrageous. A gynecologist has been convicted of two counts of rape and two counts of indecent liberties, and faces up to 23 years in prison, after he (and possibly his twin) abused what may be hundreds of women. On Friday, eight women sued the Washington State Health Department, alleging that the doctor, Charles Momah, was allowed to practice for eight years after the Health Department was made aware of his scumbaggery. The suit also alleges he never should have been licensed to practice medicine in Washington State, having been accused multiple times of malpractice in his former home of New York State.

Another article on Momah clarifies that the state Health Department has been receiving complaints about him since 1995, but did not suspend his license until 2003, which is when they claim they fist had “indication of any boundary violations by Dr. Momah.” However:

[Daleena Rollins] became concerned about Momah's sexual touching, and switched doctors in early 1995. With the help of the new doctor, she filed a written complaint with the commission that April. The commission assigned a case number but apparently never followed up, the lawsuit said.
And in 1997, the Health Department sent a letter to Momah, indicating he was the target of an investigation for "unprofessional conduct." Further investigations against Momah were launched by the Washington state medical quality assurance commission in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002, and he was censured and reprimanded by the New York State Department of Health in 1999, paying $500,000 to settle civil fraud charges. Still no disciplinary action was taken against him in Washington.

What the hell went so tragically wrong here? I can’t imagine why on earth it took so long to stop this nutjob in his tracks. Often, in cases like this, abusive doctors act with impunity for so long because patients are embarrassed to come forward, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case here. Women were identifying that he was touching and treating them inappropriately and filing complaints—complaints that were never investigated. I’m really at a loss. I never understood the job of state Health Departments to be abetting sex offenders and providing yet more disincentive, by way of indifference, to victims of sex abuse from coming forward.

(Crossposted at Political Animal.)

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus