Friday, September 30, 2005

Fifty women suing gynaecologist twin over 'impersonation'

Catherine Elsworth:

Up to 50 women are suing a Seattle gynaecologist who allegedly allowed his identical twin to impersonate him in his clinic and sexually abuse his patients.

The women, patients of Charles Momah, claim that both he and his twin Dennis, a doctor not qualified to work as a gynaecologist, molested them over a number of years as they secretly swapped places, harming them with unnecessary and often botched invasive procedures.

Some claim to have been raped on the examination table by both of the 49-year-old Nigerian-born brothers. One woman blames them for the death of her baby. The allegations have echoes of the film Dead Ringers in which Jeremy Irons plays identical twin gynaecologists who share sexual partners without their knowledge.

Charles Momah, who had medical practices in two suburbs south of Seattle, is also facing criminal charges of rape, indecent assault and insurance fraud in a trial due to begin next month. He has pleaded not guilty.

The women suing the twins hope that if he is convicted, charges will also be brought against his brother, who has not been charged with any crime.

Dr Momah's patients allege that they were assaulted by him and deceived into being examined, operated on and sexually abused by his twin. Their suspicions were aroused by changes in the doctor's weight and demeanour, they claim, and that he would allegedly forget their names or when their last appointment was.

Jeannine Lapoint, 27, attended Dr Momah's clinic between 1998 and 2002, during which she said she had 50 cervical smear tests.

She claims that her pregnancy was mismanaged, leading to the stillbirth of one of her twins and brain damage of the other boy, now four.

"At first I did not want to believe the reports," Miss Lapoint said. "But then it started to make sense. I put my faith and trust in him [Charles Momah]. I am so angry."

Her sister, Shannea Day, 29, alleges that Charles Momah repeatedly examined her vagina and never in the presence of a nurse.

Daleena Rollins, a former patient of Charles Momah, has accused the doctor of sexually assaulting her during an examination in 1995.

Her case is not among the criminal charges being brought against the doctor but she is suing him. She is not, however, suing his brother.

In October 2003, she told the King County Journal: "It only took once for me to know what he [Charles Momah] was doing." She said he assaulted her during breast and pelvic examinations.

Doctor sues over sex charges involving his twin

Dead Ringers Redux



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