By Dave Andrusko
Oklahoma abortionist Naresh G. Patel has wriggled out of many a legal jam over the last two decades. But the stakes just got raised when the 62-year-old owner of the Outpatient Services for Women was charged with racketeering—“a felony offense punishable by at least 10 years in prison,” according to Nolan Clay and Robby Trammell of the Oklahoman.
As NRL News Today previously reported, Patel’s latest run-in came when three undercover investigators came in to his office and Patel told these non-pregnant women they were pregnant. He gave them all abortifacients for which Patel charged each $620 [nrlc.cc/1wUQnTo; and nrlc.cc/1wUQtKR].
These fraud charges are comparatively far less serious. “Patel faces only three years in jail at most and $15,000 in fines if convicted of all three counts of obtaining money by false pretenses,” Clay and Trammell reported.
So why the racketeering charges?
Assistant Attorney General Megan Tilly said Thursday the racketeering count is merited this time “based on the egregious nature of the allegations and Dr. Patel’s use of his medical practice as a criminal enterprise to defraud vulnerable women.”
Alas, in spite of all this, Patel still is plying his trade. Clay and Trammell explained why.
The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision has no plans to conduct an emergency hearing to suspend his license, the two top officials there said.
The board’s deputy director, Reji Varghese, said Thursday the accusations against Patel listed in the court affidavit “will not support an emergency hearing the way our laws and rules are written.”
The board’s inaction is being criticized.
In a separate story, written earlier this week by Clay, we learn that since moving to Oklahoma in 1984, Patel has been sued in civil court about two dozen times.
Clay also wrote about former employee Kim Hauser who alleges that Patel
repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and forced her to do grisly tasks, “such as bagging fetuses and body parts,” because she refused him.
She also alleges he offered her $100,000 in early 2013 to go overseas and “marry” an Arab prince for three months.
That lawsuit is pending in Oklahoma City federal court.
A 1989 lawsuit charging Patel with sexual harassment was thrown out in 1990, Clay writes, “on legal grounds.” Likewise in 1993, “a patient accused him of sexually assaulting her after sedating her for an abortion,” Clay writes. Patel denied the allegation and was acquitted in 1994.
Patel escaped censure again in 1992 after admitted burning the bodies of aborted babies. According to Clay, Patel said
he had run out of storage space after a hospital stopped letting him use an incinerator. His action attracted national attention at the time. The state medical licensure board considered disciplining him for unprofessional conduct but did not.
Patel told the board he and his office manager took the fetuses to an abandoned recreational vehicle park he owned near Shawnee and he set fire to them on a gravel road.
The fire only partially burned the fetuses, and two fishermen later came across them.