Doctor accused of raping woman during abortion


Tribune Freeport Reporter


A DOCTOR who is on trial for the rape and indecent assault of a 20-year-old woman refused to answer questions from a police detective about allegations that he had sex with the complainant against her will during an abortion procedure, a Grand Bahama court heard yesterday.

It is also alleged that the doctor masturbated on an earlier occasion while giving the woman an exam.

Dr Gerald Mark Forbes is accused of committing the unlawful acts while performing his duties at his Carico Medical Clinic in Freeport.

The incidents allegedly occurred between January to March 2015 at Dr Forbes’ clinic located in the Professional Plaza on Pioneer’s Way.

Lead Detective 3451 Lenicka Scott told the Supreme Court that on March 16, 2015 she saw and spoke with the virtual complainant at the Central Police Station.

Det Scott took a written statement from the woman and a package of Methotrexate, a prescription that was allegedly prescribed to the complainant. She told the court that she later learned that the prescription is used to induce medical abortions.

Det Scott then accompanied the woman to the Rand Memorial Hospital around 1.20pm that same day and was present when a doctor examined the woman.

At about 4.58pm, the detective conducted a record of interview with Dr Forbes at the Central Detective Unit in the presence of his attorney Cassietta McIntosh.

Attorney Wendell Smith is representing the 46-year-old doctor at trial.

During her interview, Det Scott informed Dr Forbes of the allegations against him: that on February 15 at his clinic while he was performing a physical examination on a female employee he rubbed her vagina and masturbated and that on March 2, while he was performing a medical procedure he had sexual intercourse with the female employee against her will.

The detective said she cautioned the accused before further proceeding with the record of interview.

Prosecutor Erica Kemp requested that the record of interview be exhibited as evidence and asked Det Scott to read it in court.

Dr Forbes told the police detective during the interview that his area of practice was family medicine and minor surgery and that he was a licensed doctor that operated in Suites Three and Four of the Professional Plaza on Pioneer’s Way.

When questioned if knew the complainant, Dr Forbes responded “yes”, saying that she was “a friend of a friend” to whom he gave an opportunity to work at his office for two months from January to March.

When asked the reason why the complainant was no longer employed at his clinic, the doctor said he told her that business was slow.

During the interview, the detective asked: “When you hired her did you inform her that she would have to undergo a physical exam to work at the clinic?”

The doctor responded that he had “nothing to say.”

The officer also asked: “In February while you were performing a physical exam of the (virtual complainant) did you rub her vagina and masturbate?”

The accused again replied that he had “nothing to say.”

Detective Scott then asked: “Did the virtual complainant on March 2 while at work ask for a pregnancy test and it was positive?”

The accused repeated that he had nothing to say.

The officer asked: “Did the virtual complainant ask if you could perform the termination of a pregnancy and you told her you could?”

He again said he had nothing to say.

The officer asked: “While performing a pregnancy termination, did you rub your penis on her vagina and had sex with her against her will and she told you to stop?”

Dr Forbes said he had nothing to say to that question.

Detective Scott also asked: “Did you perform a pregnancy termination? Did you give her medication or prescription while at the office?”

“No comment,” the doctor replied.

“Did you give her medication for terminating a pregnancy?”

“No comment,” the accused replied.

He refused to answer similar questions.

He also refused comment when asked if he owed the complainant any salary.

“I have information that the complainant contacted you on WhatsApp about a $100 balance for her salary, and you told her that you don’t owe her anything because of the medication,” the officer told the accused. “The virtual complainant informed you that she will not return to work because she was uncomfortable that you violated her, and you said you were sorry she felt that way and you told her to still come in for follow-up and medication.”

When Detective Scott showed a package of the prescription that was given to the virtual complainant and asked if he had prescribed it to her, the doctor replied, “no comment.”

Det Scott said the interview ended at 6pm. She said that she and Det 106 Merinard both signed it.

On March 18, Det Scott and other officers went to the Carico Medical Clinic around 2.25pm with Dr Forbes to execute a search warrant. She said around 4.20pm she turned over tablets - Methotrexate - that were prescribed to the virtual complainant to Detective Constable Greene for analysis.

Det Scott told the court that based on the directives of the Attorney General’s Office, she charged Dr Forbes with rape and indecent assault on March 21.

Under cross-examination, Mr Smith asked Det Scott if she knew the purpose of Methotrexate pills.

Ms Scott said she researched the pills on the Internet and learned that they are used to induce abortion.

The lawyer asked: “The only evidence as a lead investigator you had with reference to Dr Forbes are these Methotrexate pills?”

“Yes,” the detective replied.

The trial resumes at 11am on Friday.

Justice Estelle Gray Evans is presiding over the matter, which is before a jury of four women and five men.

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