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Ex-gynecologist convicted of raping patients

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Charles Momah, a former gynecologist who had an office in Federal Way, raped patients, fondled them and filed false claims with insurance companies, a jury ruled Wednesday.

The King County Superior Court jury deliberated for four days on the case and returned the verdict of guilty of rape in the second degree, rape in the third degree and two counts of indecent liberties.

Momah will most likely be sentenced next month, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng. Momah could face up to 16 years in prison.

Charging papers revealed that in 2001, a patient who was seeing the doctor for pelvic pain told him she was recovering for a painkiller addiction.

He then allegedly prescribed Percocet, a powerful painkiller, for her and within weeks she was hooked. According to the patient’s statement to investigators, she continued seeing Momah to get more prescriptions for pain pills. Eventually, he started asking her to meet him outside of his office for sex. In 2003, while she was on an exam table in Momah’s office for treatment of abdominal pain, Momah raped her, the patient told investigators. Then he threatened to call Child Protective Services to have her son taken away if she told anyone.

The woman’s boyfriend took her to a hospital, where she reported the rape and was examined, authorities said.

Five other victims’ accounts involved Momah fondling the women, using an ultrasound wand as a sex tool and overbilling insurance companies for procedures he didn’t perform.

Since the case became public, more than 40 women have filed lawsuits against him.

Momah will have a second trial next year on three charges of filing false health claims.

Donohoe said the prosecutor’s office is “pleased with the verdict”. Momah’s lawyer reportedly plans to appeal it.

Momah’s medical license was suspended by the state in 2003 after Federal Way Police raided his clinic in a commercial complex on South 336th Street.

Momah has had legal problems elsewhere. He was indicted in New York for allegedly submitting more than $366,000 in false claims to Medicaid. He was acquitted in 1999. But in 2000, that state’s attorney general announced Momah had reached a settlement to repay $500,000 for having overbilled New York for obstetric deliveries he didn’t make and prenatal care for which he already had been.

Momah practiced medicine in New York before coming to Washington.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565, mhalliday@fedwaymirror.com

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