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Former doctor faces rape, fraud charges

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

Former gynecologist and obstetrician Charles M. Momah pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from accusations he deliberately performed unnecessary procedures on several female patients and got them addicted to painkillers in order to gain sex from them, in some cases allegedly raping them at his office in Federal Way.

Momah appeared in King County Superior Court, where he was arraigned on one count of second-degree rape, one count of third-degree rape, a count of indecent liberties and three counts of insurance fraud.

The court set Momah’s bail at $200,000, reducing King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng’s request of $250,000. Momah was expected to post bail yesterday.

Maleng’s spokesman, Dan Donohoe, said prosecutors opposed the lower bail, fearing Momah might try to flee the country. But Momah’s attorney noted Momah surrendered his passport last year and has remained in Washington during a year-long investigation of the case.

Several women told police that Momah threatened to tell authorities about their dependence on narcotics — many of which he allegedly prescribed — if they told on him.

Momah also has been accused of billing insurance providers several times for the same procedures or billing for work he didn’t do.

Federal Way Police began investigating Momah in August 2003, when a patient reported he raped her during an after-hours exam at his office.

Police searched the office last September and confiscated computers and files as part of their investigation.

The state Department of Health pulled Momah’s license to practice medicine following the allegations. His license has remained suspended since, and his obstetrics and gynecology practices, located in Burien and Federal Way, have closed.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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