GP acquitted of sexually assaulting patient at Co Cork surgery

Dr Michael Obrowski had denied allegation of abuse by woman in Midleton in 2012

Dr Michael Obrowski who appeared at Cork Circuit Court. Photograph:  Cork Courts

Dr Michael Obrowski who appeared at Cork Circuit Court. Photograph: Cork Courts

 

Barry Roche, Cork

A GP has been acquitted of sexually assaulting a patient who attended his Co Cork surgery complaining of stomach cramps.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard the the woman alleged Dr Michael Obrowski had carried out a vaginal examination before asking her about the size of her breasts and shaving her pubic hair.

Dr Obrowski (59), an American citizen, had denied the single charge of sexually assaulting the then 26-year-old woman at his clinic at Corabbey Court in Midleton, Co Cork on March 29th, 2012.

The woman had alleged that Dr Obrowski had asked her to lie on a sheet on the floor as he had no surgical bed in the newly-opened clinic. She said he had inserted his finger into both her vagina and her rectum after she said she was suffering from stomach pains and diarrhoea.

She also alleged that Dr Obrowski had asked about the size of her breasts and whether she had shaved her pubic hair for him.

Dr Obrowski told the jury of eight men and four women the events as described by the woman never happened and he never remembered treating her. He also said he would not have examined anyone vaginally or rectally if they were suffering from stomach pains and diarrhoea.

He only began leasing the premises in Midleton, which required extensive refurbishment on March 19th, 2012. He produced a computer generated calendar that he had created, stating that the clinic was being painted on March 28th, 29th and 30th for a grand opening on April 1st.

He said that he had an examination table in his surgery from the time he started seeing patients as he had suffered a serious back injury in car crashes in 1982 and 1987. He said he could not bend down to examine patients so it would not have been possible to examine anyone lying on the floor.

The jury took just over two hours to return a majority 10-2 verdict to acquit Dr Obrowksi, who had been in custody since June when he was extradited back to Ireland from Poland on a European Arrest Warrant to face trial.

Dr Obrowski was previously struck off the Medical Register in Ireland in September 2012 after he was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Irish Medical Council for failing to disclose a conviction in the United States after he pleaded guilty to using a false CIA identification card to buy a gun.

He had failed to disclose the conviction, for which he served five months in jail, when he applied in January 2011 to register with the Irish Medical Council to obtain a job in the Mercy University Hospital in Cork.

Dr Obrowski did not attend the Irish Medical Council hearing in June 2012 but in correspondence, he wrote to the Fitness to Practice Committee and said the fake ID was “an innocently made” toy ID card with CIA written on it for when playing ‘James Bond’ games with his son.

However, Mr B, a witness from the US, told the hearing Dr Obrowski had not offered this explanation during his trial in the US when he pleaded guilty to the charge.

The Irish Medical Council Fitness to Practise Committee said it was “satisfied beyond a reasonable that this (failing to disclose the US conviction) was conduct connected with the profession which doctors of experience, competence and good repute consider disgraceful or dishonourable.”