A Skokie, Illinois gynecologist has been arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a patient. Dr. Fabio Ortega, 72, was taken into custody on September 10, 2018.
Help For Assault Survivors Is Available
Were you or a loved one assaulted by Dr. Fabio Ortega? Our deepest sympathies go out to you. Sexual assault can raise a storm of powerful and difficult emotions, from grief and anger to shame and embarrassment. Just know that this was not your fault. You are not to blame.
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Skokie Gynecologist Charged With Criminal Sexual Assault
Dr. Ortega has been charged with one count of criminal sexual assault. Ortega, a former partner at Skokie’s NorthShore University Medical Group, was indicted in August. His medical license was suspended in September. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation lists the reason for his license suspension as “engaging in sexual misconduct with a patient at his practice.”
Representatives of NorthShore University Medical Group say the clinic took “immediate steps” to remove Ortega from clinical practice last year, when Ortega was indicted. The medical practice refuses to say exactly when Ortega stopped seeing patients.
Woman Says Ortega Assaulted Her During Exam
The charge stems from a sexual assault report filed with Skokie police officials back in February 2017, when a female patient of Dr. Ortega said the physician had assaulted her during a doctor’s appointment. According to police reports viewed by Patch.com, Ortega “touched a patient inappropriately during an exam and made various sexually suggestive comments.” The woman, “visibly upset and crying,” told police that she was in a state of shock during the alleged assault. She told investigators that she wanted to press charges against Dr. Ortega because she wanted to stop the doctor from assaulting other patients.
During an interview with police, Dr. Ortega admitted to asking the patient a series of uncomfortable question. Ortega said he “may have” asked questions about the woman’s sexual fantasies, anal sex and a “buttocks enhancement procedure,” but he denied touching her inappropriately.
Previous Report Accuses Ortega Of Sexual Misconduct
This is not the first time Dr. Ortega has been the subject of a misconduct complaint. During the course of investigations, police officials learned that a previous report against Ortega had been filed with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in 2013.
The previous report provides troubling details, which appear to border on stalking. A woman who was referred to Ortega told authorities at the Illinois licensing board that “things got weird when Dr. Ortega began calling her on her cellular phone late at night and would ask her if she had any sexual fantasies and what were they.” Dr. Ortega also allegedly made a comment about the woman’s breasts being “appetizing.”
The woman said that Dr. Ortega refused to provide her medical records unless she met with him outside the office, which he backed up with a request to “go get coffee.” The patient refused Dr. Ortega’s offer. But prosecutors determined that no crime had been committed, and regulators declined to levy any professional sanctions against the gynecologist.
Dr. Ortega’s case highlights the importance of reporting doctor sexual assault to the authorities as soon as possible. Without the two reports against Dr. Ortega, which were submitted by brave survivors of the physician’s alleged abuse, he would never have been brought to justice at all. We cannot thank these survivors enough.