If an Oklahoma City abortionist jeopardized his patients' health by selling abortion-inducing drugs to women who were not pregnant, prosecutors want to put him away for as long as possible. The state Attorney General's office has now charged Dr. Naresh Patel with a felony count of racketeering.
If convicted, he could face 10 years in prison.
Dr. Nareshkumar Gandalal Patel – who goes by “Naresh” – has generated decades of controversy in the Outpatient Services for Women abortion facility in the Oklahoma City suburb of Warr Acres. He has been accused of raping three women, sexually harassing his employees, burning the bodies of dozens of aborted babies in a rural area, and causing serious lifelong injury to a 15-year-old girl during a botched abortion.
In June, the state began an investigation into Patel's operations upon learning that he had performed an “abortion” on a woman, Pamela King, whose cervical cancer was so far advanced that she could not have been pregnant at the time.
Three state agencies sent a total of three undercover investigators into Patel's office, none of whom were pregnant. Patel confirmed that they were expecting, gave each one five tablets of the abortion drug RU-486, and charged them $620, the women say.
Police arrested the 62-year-old on December 9 and charged him with three counts of obtaining money under a false pretense. The crime carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
But the state's Assistant Attorney General, Megan Tilly, told The Oklahoman that she asked for the additional jail 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.”
Officers have seized records and medical equipment from Patel's abortion facility, as well as his well-kept home in Gaillardia. “We’re going to be looking for the medical records of the undercover law enforcement officers we sent in,” Tilly told KFOR-TV. “We’ll also be looking for ultrasound equipment to ensure that was working correctly.”
Patel's defense attorney, Mack Martin, said his client would plead not guilty and wants to “try this case in the courtroom and not in the media.”
“Kermit Gosnell was also charged and convicted of racketeering. Both have been accused of operating a corrupt organization,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue. “This is just another way that the two abortionists share similarities.”
Since the arrest, eight other women have come forward against Patel to file complaints. One of them, a 39-year-old woman, said Patel changed her baby's gestational age so he could charge an additional $500 and then performed the abortion on her without anesthesia. “It was like torture,” she said.
Despite the accusations and pending felony trial, Patel is free to continue operating on women, because his medical license has not been suspended. Officials with the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision say the new allegations are not severe enough to trigger an emergency meeting dedicated to revoking Patel's credentials.
The office is presently closed, but employees say they plan to reopen in January.
The state's inaction outraged the abortion facility's neighbor – the Holy Innocents’ Foundation of Oklahoma, a pro-life prayer chapel and outreach ministry that boasts of offering prayers and Eucharistic adoration within 20 feet of Patel's office.
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“If any other facility that does surgery or dispenses dangerous drugs were accused of such charges with enough probable cause to get a search warrant, that facility would be locked shut pending investigation, to protect women,” Communications Director Lorryn McGarry said. “The fact that the abortion industry in America is given a free pass on harming women should shock the conscience of every American, regardless of whether you think abortion should be legal or not.”
Former patients may file additional complaints with the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.
Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision
Main Number: (405) 962-1400
Fax: (405) 962-1440
Phone outside 405 area code: 1-800-381-4519